Spend, spend, spend: Hainan goes duty-free shopping-crazy

China’s island province sees spending surge after officials increased the tax-free purchase limit

Spend, spend, spend: Hainan goes duty-free shopping-crazy
Big Spenders: Shoppers in Sanya, on Hainan’s southern coast. 

(ATF) Holidaymakers went on a 450 million yuan ($64.34m) spending spree after the province of Hainan lifted duty-free shopping limits on the resort island.

The figures come from the first week of the new rule, which increased the spending limit from 30,000 yuan per person per year to 100,000 yuan. A tax-free limit of 8,000 yuan on a single product has also been lifted.

Duty-free shopping is being used as a lure to attract visitors as the island transforms itself into multi-facility destination for tourists and businesses. As well as new attractions planned for the region, officials have created a free-trade zone to boost industry and trade to rival nearby Hong Kong.   

During the period, the average daily spend was 9.4m yuan, up 58.2% from the average daily amount in the first half of the year, according to the General Administration of Customs on Monday.

Cosmetics, jewellery and watches were the most popular products, accounting for 77% of total spend. The range of duty-free goods has also expanded, growing from 38 categories to 45.

But the shopping attraction comes with a warning. The customs administration said visitors who resell or smuggle their duty-free goods will see their credit report tarnished and will not be allowed to purchase duty-free goods for three years.

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