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China's Hainan lures global travelers with more than beaches

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-05 14:56

Huge changes

"I look forward to going back to Hainan because I think the changes there are just as dramatic as the rest of China. I can tell just by watching the pictures from here," said Norwegian ambassador to China Geir O. Pedersen, who visited the province back in 1988.

Large display panels and booths showing local specialties and recent developments in Hainan were part of a promotion event held Friday in Beijing. The event attracted more than 500 people, including Pedersen and other foreign diplomats from over 160 countries.

"It is not just nice beaches, beautiful people, but also many interesting developments, lots of new buildings, industries, especially high-tech development," said Pedersen, who expressed a hope to boost cooperation by drawing on each other's strengths.

Hainan's development started just 30 years ago, when the province was established as a Special Economic Zone.

"At that time, Hainan was a relatively backward border province with poor infrastructure, and you couldn't even see a traffic light," said Shen Xiaoming, governor of Hainan.

The formerly agricultural island has become a pioneer in innovation and openness. A sea-land-air transportation network has already been built to connect the province with the rest of the world, and the island is also home to the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia.

"We want to send our invitation to the rest of the world. Welcome to Hainan for vacation, investment and experiencing its diverse culture," said Shen.

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