Tue, June 14, 2011
Business > Industries

'Hawaii of China' lures tourists with rebates

2011-05-02 14:42:56 GMT2011-05-02 22:42:56(Beijing Time)  China Daily

Tourists enter the tax-free shop in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, May 1, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

Customers pay at the cashier desk in the tax-free shop in Sanya, April 29, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

A woman from Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, squats next to a basket of goods she bought in a tax-free shop in Sanya, May 1, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

Shoppers line up outside the tax-free shop in Sanya at 9:00am, one hour before the store opens, on April 29, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

The offshore tax-free scheme for mainland shoppers officially kicks off in Hainan on May 1, after a 10-day trial operation.

The policy will prevent mainland visitors from paying various types of taxes on up to 5,000 ($770) worth of imported goods bought at selected duty-free stores on the tropical island province, long known as the Hawaii of China.

Only travelers who are 18 or older will avoid paying import duties, and the mainland visitors to Hainan can only buy goods duty free at the shop twice a year, while island residents can only once a year.

Permission to buy goods duty-free in Hainan had been extended to foreign and non-mainland travelers before, but never to mainland visitors.

About 18,000 people enter the tax-free shop in Sanya every day since April 20, when the trial operation of the tax rebate scheme starts.

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