A promotion conference of tourism integration was held in Zhanjiang on Sept 25, aiming to pool the efforts of Haikou and Zhanjiang and bolster the Qiongzhou Straits as an international travel destination.
The Qiongzhou Straits, also called the Hainan Straits, is a body of water that separates the Leizhou Peninsula in Zhanjiang to the north from Hainan Island to its south. In 2016, Guangdong and Hainan put forward to form a synergetic force for the construction of Qiongzhou Straits Economic Belt.
As two pivot cities along the Belt and Road, Zhanjiang and Haikou share many similarities in geographic location, resources and industrial structure, while being highly complementary. There is much potential to be tapped, said Liu Bing, vice secretary-general of Zhanjiang municipal government.
According to Sun Shiwen, deputy mayor of Haikou, the integration first starts with infrastructure, with a marine transport platform to be put in place to achieve interconnectivity. Furthermore, an aggregation of people, logistics and capital will inject new impetus to the region through tourism and cultural exchanges.
Previously, Zhanjiang residents had to find a travel agency across the Qiongzhou Straits, when they wanted to travel in Haikou. After a promotion conference in August, multiple travel routes to Haikou were launched in Zhanjiang, said Sun Xiangtao, vice secretary-general of Haikou Association of Travel Services.
On April 28, a helicopter from Haikou heading for the Xuwen county of Zhanjiang was laucnhed, which shortens the travel distance between the two places to 10 minutes. The first seaplanes across Qiongzhou Straits will come into service in October. By then, it will only take tourists from Haikou only half an hour to get to Zhanjiang.