We have been in­creas­ing the in­vest­ment in San­sha’s tourism in­dus­try.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

In or­der to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­men­ton­the is­lands, tourists are cur­rently asked to eat and spend the night on the ship.

As an is­land city in the South China Sea, San­sha has unique tourism re­sources, said Xiao.

This year, a tourism com­pany will be founded there to boost the city’s mar­itime tourism in­dus­try. The city also wants to build ho­tels and bring in new ship­ping routes to at­tract more vis­i­tors.

Projects in­clud­ing build­ing roads and plant­ing trees have been ac­cel­er­ated to cater to the de­mand of an in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion and tourists.

In July 2012, China es­tab­lished San­sha, with its gov­ern­ment seat on Yongx­ing Is­land, to ad­min­is­ter the Xisha, Zhong­sha and Nan­sha is­lands and their sur­round­ing wa­ters in the South China Sea.

As China’s new­est city, San­sha ad­min­is­ters more than 280 islets. But it han­dles the small­est land area and pop­u­la­tion for a pre­fec­ture-level city.

For gen­er­a­tions, San­sha’s islets have served as land­marks and post houses for Chi­nese fish­er­men. Now the leafy islets at­tract peo­ple from other parts of China with their white beaches, ocean views and seafood.

De­spite the city’s rapid progress, the big­gest chal­lenge for San­sha’s tourism in­dus­try is still the lack of ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture and trans­port. Most of its is­lands are more than 100 nau­ti­cal miles from Hainan and are heav­ily de­pen­dent on sup­plies from out­side.

Ac­cord­ing to Hainan’s an­nual gov­ern­ment work re­port, mar­itime tourism will top the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s agenda this year.

“We have been in­creas­ing the in­vest­ment in San­sha’s tourism in­dus­try. Hope­fully it will have a break­through in 2015,” said Xiao. Con­tact the writer at pengyin­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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