South China's Hainan Province plans to simplify its entry procedures and carry out a pilot program that would allow overseas yachts to enter some of its waters.
Fu Caixiang, vice governor of Hainan and a deputy to the National People's Congress, said at a plenary session on Friday that the province will further simplify its entry procedures, expand the number of visa-free countries and implement a more convenient policy for cruises and yachts.
Fu said that the province will explore "negative list" management on its administered waters for the entry of overseas boats.
In the financial area, a negative list names the areas not open to investors, with those not on the list being open to investment. Experts said this approach usually offers greater openness.
Hainan is the southernmost province of China, consisting of various islands in the South China Sea. The Nansha Islands and Xisha Islands are administered by Hainan.
The move is part of local government's efforts to upgrade its tourism and turn the island into a globally-influential international tourism consumption center.
According to a local government work report obtained by the Global Times, the province will also develop cruise lines around the island of Hainan and on Xisha Islands this year.
It will also support cruise companies' expansion in Southeast Asia and other regions based on market demand.
The report also said that the government will carry out a pilot program that would temporarily allow overseas yachts to enter some of its waters.
In 2019, Hainan government aims to increase the number of tourists by 13 percent and total industry revenue by 15 percent. It is likewise eyeing an increase in inbound trips of foreign tourists by 1.5 million.
Other provincial officials also vowed to continue promoting the development of the free trade zone in the island and plan to establish a free trade port by 2025.
A free trade port is the world's most open form of economic zone, which has brought prosperity to places like Singapore and Hong Kong, thanks to their broad-based preferential policies on trade and investment, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Meanwhile, a financial budget report obtained by the Global Times shows that the local government will invest 660 million yuan ($98 million) for a national park.
In January, Xia Fei, the head of Hainan's forestry bureau, told media that a tropical rainforest national park in Hainan will cover 4,400 square meters, or one-seventh of the island's land area.
Newspaper headline: Hainan mulls overseas yachts