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Hainan duty-free shoppers splurge after policy relaxation
Author:Gu Liping  Source:Xinhua   

People visit Haitang Bay duty-free shopping center in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province, Jan. 31, 2016. (Photo: Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

One of two pilot offshore duty-free shops in the island province of Hainan took unprecedented sums during the Chinese New Year holiday after authorities relaxed restrictions on the amount shoppers could spend.

Nearly 30,000 customers spent more than 60 million yuan (about 9.1 million U.S. dollars) on 90,000 items in the store in Meilan International Airport in Haikou, Hainan's capital, from Feb. 7 to 13, according to customs sources.

The 16 million yuan taken on Feb. 13 was a daily record since the introduction of duty-free shopping in Hainan in 2011, a government move to help develop the island as a tourist destination.

Non-residents were previously allowed to spend up to 8,000 yuan on duty-free items, twice a year, but since the beginning of this month, they have been allowed to shop as often as they like in the stores and spend up to 16,000 yuan a year.

The shops now also allow travelers to order online and collect their purchases at the airport as they leave.

Almost 4,500 items from Meilan were bought online by nearly 1,000 customers during the holiday, according to the customs office.

Hainan's other duty-free shop, the world's largest, is in the resort city of Sanya.

Xinhua Editor: Gu Liping


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