Luxury shoppers flock domestically to Hainan

    Under a trial program aimed at developing the southern island into a tourist destination, Hainan has become a luxury shopping haven for the local Mainland Chinese, reports Reuters. 

    The program comes under China’s efforts to lift local consumption and spur domestic tourism, which has led to the creation of a “duty-free paradise”, offering products priced as much as 30 percent less than the mainland.

    According to Bain Consultancy, the Chinese currently purchase nearly 80 per cent of their luxury goods abroad in cities such as Paris, London and Tokyo, but local shopping destinations such as Hainan has been gaining traction. 

    “Whether it is Burberry or Richemont recently, many brands in the space have noted that the future of luxury demand will be about the Chinese and incrementally at home,” said HSBC analyst Erwan Rambourg.

    Hainan’s climate and more than 60 beaches has also become popular among developers. The city has more than 1,000 hotels with 30 more to open in the coming years.

    One of those is the US$1.7-billion Atlantis project of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. and the owner of South Africa’s Sun City casino resort, Sol Kerzner.