Island: paradise for some shoppers

Updated: 2010-12-27 09:54

By Shi Yingying (China Daily)

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Island: paradise for some shoppers

The Sanya duty-free store run by the State-owned China Duty-Free Group Co Ltd (CDF) in downtown Sanya, in South China's Hainan province. Mainland visitors are expected to be allowed under a new government policy to buy tax-free goods at CDF stores on the island next year, although only overseas passport holders and residents of Taiwan and Hong Kong can do so now. [Photo / Provided to China Daily] 

Hainan set to allow visitors from the Chinese mainland to buy duty-free goods from next year

SANYA, Hainan - Mainland people are set to lose out from a new tax-return policy to be unveiled during an official news conference on Monday that will further benefit foreign travelers and visitors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao to Hainan province.

Even though the State Council gave the nod to the province to explore the possibility of allowing domestic tourists outside Hainan to enjoy duty-free shopping earlier this year, visitors from the mainland are still excluded while others are enjoying a bonanza.

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Despite their hopes and expectations, mainlanders need to wait for "another half year or so"for the full implementation of the duty-free policy, according to Guo Zhiming, a division director of the publicity department of Hainan provincial government.

"Starting from the beginning of next month, overseas travelers (including those from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao) can reclaim the tax they paid for 21 categories of goods in three designated Sanya and Haikou shopping malls when they leave the province. That's something new apart from the duty-free shopping they already enjoy," said Guo. "However, mainland people would need to wait until next May or later."

"They just wouldn't let me buy anything," said Huang Ruixi, a 22-year-old luxury brands buyer from Suzhou. It was Huang's last day of a brief tour to Sanya and she was disappointed in the city's downtown duty-free store.

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