Explore the pristine beauty of this island paradise and leave only footprints behind
As part of the Sanya Tourism Board and Shanghai Daily's "Travel The World, Stay In Sanya" initiative, young foreign travelers got to admire the island's beauty and culture.
A group of young foreign tourists had an exhilarating journey in Sanya, a seaside resort in south China's Hainan Province, discovering the unique charm of the coastal island and becoming fascinated by the picturesque scenery, vibrant local culture, eco-friendly traveling environment, and delectable culinary delights that Sanya has to offer.
They enjoyed the picturesque city's spectacular beauty and splendid culture as part of the Sanya Tourism Board's and Shanghai Daily's program "Travel The World, Stay In Sanya," which ran from September 8 to 10.
Approximately 20 young people from countries with significant tourist arrivals to Sanya, such as the United States, Thailand, Greece, and South Korea, participated in the program, which explored Sanya's city culture, maritime activities, folk customs of the Li and Miao ethnic minorities, duty-free shopping, and the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port.
They went to Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest, one of Sanya's must-see tourist attractions with diverse plant varieties and a primitive environment, took a romantic stroll on West Island, Hainan's largest aboriginal tourist island, and had a thrilling time surfing in Houhai Village.
Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest has been dubbed a "natural oxygen bar" due to its clean ecology and environment, while West Island's original island landscape and charming fishermen's style have earned it the moniker "the sea of Taoyuan, a dynamic paradise."
They also enjoyed a spectacular show about Sanya at Romance Park, as well as visits to Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City, Bohou Village, and the well-known attraction Tianya-Haijiao.
The journey was not only a feast for the eyes but also for the stomach.
They sunk their teeth into Sanya's delectable signature foods, ranging from coconut chicken to seafood, and experienced the joy of handicrafts such as coconut hat weaving and clay painting.
It was a fascinating and memorable experience for the young foreign tourists, who are already planning their next trip.
Greece's Panagiota Ntourma called the trip "the best."
"I took part in a lot of activities, either by the sea or in the mountains," she explained. "Everything I saw here – the people, the surroundings – left me with the best impression I could have for a vacation."
"The romantic play gave me a glimpse of Sanya culture, and the costumes are very beautiful," she remarked. "Locals are very friendly and warmly welcome you to this city."
"The duty-free price and shopping environment are both very good," she continued.
"I will definitely recommend this place to my friends and family, and I have already promoted it on social media," she added. "I will come again."
Cole Henry from the United States said the surfing was fun and the show was cool.
"There are lots of things about nature to do in Sanya, which is what I like the most," Henry said. "I'd love to come back and do some more hiking," he continued. "I enjoy the coconut milk, and the coconut chicken hotpot is delicious."
"Sanya is like my home. I have so much fun here," said Thailand's Suphathananan Kittaya.
"The performance is so good and impressive," she exclaimed. "Everyone is nice and treats us well."
"I will definitely return to Sanya with my family."
Sanya is China's sole tropical coastline tourism city, located in the 18-degree "golden latitude." Its stunning beauty has captured the hearts of countless travelers.
It is a popular tourist destination due to its tropical temperature, long lengths of coastline, stunning ocean vistas, and premium resorts.
The second hometown
Sanya is not only a popular destination for international tourists, but it is also a place where many foreigners choose to settle down.
Francesco Sanna, an Italian from Sardinia Island who works as the executive chef at Fairmont Sanya Haitang Bay, describes Sanya as his second home. He has traveled to various areas throughout the world and calls himself a "modern-day Marco Polo."
Francesco first visited Hainan in 2010. He has worked in several Chinese cities and often vacations in Sanya.
"Two years ago, I said to myself, 'where do I want to work?' I travel a lot, and my favorite part is always Sanya," he said.
He eventually settled down 500 meters from the beach in Sanya.
"For me, Sanya and Sardinia are two parts of my heart," he said. "I love the seaside, the food, the sunshine, the temperature, and the local ingredients. It's a dream to relocate here and just stay."
He is very busy at work, but in his spare time, he enjoys seeing other parts of the resort city.
"I'm never bored in the city, and it has different beauties," he continued. "It provides you with so many different experiences."
He enjoys hiking, running, swimming, and even visiting local fish markets. His friendship with Sanya is still strong.
"It feels like home, but it's in a different country," he added.
Russian Korytova Anastasiia has been working with the Sanya Tourism Board for over three years.
As an event planning manager, she prepares and arranges tourism promotion campaigns in China and overseas.
"I believe that almost every Russian dreams of living by the sea, and I am no exception," she remarked. "Sanya's climate is also very pleasant." Sanya has one of the highest air quality ratings in China, which I greatly appreciate. And we have a wide range of flora and fauna."
"I also like that in Sanya, we have both traditional Chinese culture and the culture of the Li and Mao aborigines," says Anastasiia. "This combination is quite intriguing to explore and promote."
Another important reason Anastasia opted to stay in Sanya is because the Hainan Free Trade Port offers excellent job prospects to foreigners.
"I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with my Chinese colleagues and contribute to the promotion of this wonderful tourist destination," she added.
Obtaining a work permit and visa is extremely simple, Anastasiia said.
"I enjoy going to the beach and swimming in the sea, but I also enjoy visiting parks because I enjoy being surrounded by greenery and hearing birds sing.
"I enjoy walking around and taking in the fresh air and weather."
Anastasiia said there are strong indicators of recovery in outbound tourism.
"We received many international flights this year, such as from Indonesia, Vietnam, and other countries," she said.
"I believe Sanya is a truly ideal place to live and work because of its excellent environmental conditions and attractive policies."
Sanya's sound and international business environment has enticed numerous foreign investors, including Hungarian Akos Ulrich.
He relocated to Sanya two years ago, beginning a new chapter in his life.
"I really like the climate of Sanya. It is China's No.1 tropical destination," Akos said.
He established his own company here.
"I really like the atmosphere of the city, the local people, the food. So I decided to start doing business from here and move my life to this beautiful city."
He is now preparing to launch a new business, Dinner In The Sky, an international restaurant ip.
The restaurant with a capacity of 22 seats is suspended up to 50 meters in the air and is set to open at Haitang Bay in October.
Akos said that the team would incorporate numerous local aspects, such as tropical fruits, into the menu to promote the local lifestyle and tastes.
"We have been preparing this project for a year. We were looking for many locations but decided to settle in Sanya. This is going to be the first permanent location, so we are really excited about this."
Akos said there are a lot of opportunities in Sanya.
"Sanya in many ways is much better than other tropical destinations," he explained. "For example, the infrastructure, the air quality, the number of airports..."
"Sanya is developing every day. If I just look around the Haitang Bay area, the city area, new projects are coming up. These new projects, new shopping malls, and new entertainment venues are also bringing in new tourists from abroad to Sanya."
He has promoted the city to his friends and family members.
"It is definitely worth it for international tourists to come here," he said.
"All the world-class hotel brands are present in the city. I have never seen such big and beautiful hotels anywhere in the world. They have very nice international staff and international food, and the beach is really nice. There are also plenty of entertainment options in the city."
He gave a thumbs-up to the business environment of Sanya.
"The number of foreign investment and foreigners visiting the city is growing. The local government is supportive. The quality of life is good and the air quality is really nice."
"If we bring in new ideas, the city will be much more welcoming. I would encourage my partners and foreign friends to come here, invest, and build new projects because I think it is a perfect place for this."
The job of Belgian Charlotte Magnette, an international investment manager at Sanya Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City Administration Bureau, is to talk with foreign companies who are interested in investing in Hainan Free Trade Port and introduce them to preferential policies.
So far, 89 foreign companies have registered at Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City.
"They are quite interested in seeing the development of Hainan Free Trade Port," said Charlotte.
There are different types of projects such as agriculture, biotechnology, seed breeding, marine industry, deep-sea research, service, and high-tech.
She explained that the port's tariff policy, which decreases the cost of importing products to China, and simple access to the Chinese market are highly appealing to foreign enterprises.
"I believe that the development of the free trade port has a lot of potential, and I really want to be a part of that development," she added.
Charlotte enjoys trekking in Sanya in her spare time.
"I like being close to the sea, and another great thing about Sanya is that it's all surrounded by nature, mountains, and rainforest," she explained.
"I enjoy hiking, and it's a great place for me to live," Charlotte added.
"Travel The World, Stay In Sanya"program enabled young foreign travelers to experience the unique charm of Sanya.
They said that the enchanting scenery,pleasant weather, friendly people, protection awareness on nature and talentsfrom all around the world were all their reasons to stay in Sanya, and theopenness and innovation of Hainan Free Trade Port made them willing to lingerin the city and make contributions to its development.
The feedback of these youngsters reflectedthe attractiveness of Sanya as a tourist-friendly destination and the blueprint of Hainan Free Trade Port's development is even more appealing to young professionals from around the world.
Sanya Tourism Board said the event is notonly a trip, but also a brand-new try of its marketing campaign with the voiceof young tourists from the world heard to promote the international tourist resort and tourist-friendly city to the world.
Sanya has become a "trendy destination" and one of the most popular domestic tourist destinations under a number of combined measures and marketing campaigns of the Sanya Tourism Board, setting a benchmark in tourism recovery and the growth of tourism economic development.
Sanya has been actively upgrading its regional tourism supporting facilities and is ready to welcome the arrival of Chinese and international tourists with its pleasant environment, solid tourism facilities and considerate tourism services.
In the future, the board will step up efforts towards a young, international and trendy city and lift Sanya's international competitiveness to attract tourists from overseas.