With the number of foreign visitors to Hainan Province in China reaching 1.1 million in 2017, contributing to an impressive total of 67.5m tourists to the island and numerous projects such as the Atlantis Sanya resort making waves, it is no surprise that the Hainan Provincial Committee (HPC) has begun wooing international visitors with gusto.
Currently focused on Nordic nations the publicity department of the HPC has sent a delegation to Finland, Norway as well as Russia to promote its visa waiver programme.
The delegation comprising artists, media and politicians from Hainan is currently visiting Finland, Norway and Russia, exhibiting scenic photos, showing traditional music and dance and updating the open-up policies.
Wang Qi, head of the delegation, explained how Finland, Norway and Russia are among the 59 nations in the new visa waiver program. “The citizens of these countries are allowed, starting from May 2018, to enter Hainan province without a visa if they stay there no longer than 30 days.” Qi added the provision that a Hainan agency is necessary to act as go between for the waiver system.
At an introduction event held in the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki early this week (above), 74 photos were displayed with three themes — “This is Hainan”, “International Tourism Island” and “Cultural Exchange”, showing the economic, social and cultural development of Hainan province in the past 30 years since it was approved as a special economic zone.
“This cultural exhibition is impressive and gives an overview of the beauty of Hainan. It is expected that there could be more exchanges between Hainan and Helsinki and Finland in terms of culture and education,” said Catia Suomalainen Pedrosa, director of Helsinki International Cultural Center.
Similar events put on by the delegation will be arriving in landing in Oslo, Norway and Moscow, Russia in mid-September.