Situated at the southern-most tip of Hainan Island and facing the South China Sea, Sanya stands as the central city and as well the transport hub in the southern part of Hainan. Sanya, as the only tropical coastal tourism resort in China, plays an important role in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative. Covering a total land area of 1, 920.75 square kilometers and a sea area of 3, 500 square kilometers, Sanya is home to 19 bays in different size, with a dazzling coastline stretching for 258.65 kilometers. In 1984, the State Council approved the proposal that Sanya was set upas a county-level city instead of Ya County and then upgraded toprefecture-level in 1987. More importantly, in 2014, Sanya became a full-fledged city, exercising jurisdiction over 4 districts, namely, Haitang, Jiyang, Tianya and Yazhou. Sanya has a population of 764, 200 (2017), among which the registered ones are 592, 200. Over 20 ethnic groups inhabitin Sanya, largely the Han, Li, Miao, Hui and others.
Being called Yazhou in ancient times, Sanya enjoys a time-honored history. Dating back to as early as the first year of the Western Han Dynasty (110 BC), Sanya had been an inherent part of the Chinese territory. Due to its remote location over the sea and being isolated from the capital, Sanya has been recognized as “the End of the Earth”ever since then. However, when it came to the 1400 years since the Sui and Tang Dynasties, her political, economic and cultural ties with the mainland have never been interrupted. Sanya used to be the "Tangmuyi", the private area for Madam Xian (a saintly mother)of Qiao in Sui Dynasty to levy tax, in addition, the place where the well-known monk in Tang Dynasty---Jianzhenlanded when rafting and preached. In effect, during the Tang and Song Dynasties, 7 famous ministers were demoted and exiled to Sanya. Historical findings revealed that Sanya gained its initial economic development back in the Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, leading the country in the cotton manufacturing industry. Legend has it that Madam Huang Daopo, a famous cotton weaver and reformer, learned textile technology from the local Li women, standing as an important historical witness. While moving forward to the Ming Dynasty, Zhong Fang,highly regarded as one of the "three Confucians in Qiongzhou" emerged. All in all, these historical and cultural relics for centuries old in Sanya highlight its splendid history and culture. Other than that, archaeologists discovered the human trace back to 10,000 years ago in Luobi Cave of Sanya, which is the earliesthuman settlement site in Hainan Island and the footprint of the Paleolithic culture in the southern-most part of China ever-known. Stone carvings such as "Tianya", "Haijiao" and "Daxiaodongtian"as well as the tombs of ancient Persians vividly display Sanya’s history and culture which are profound, rich and diverse. What’s worth mentioning is that, in 2006, Li people's firewood-collecting dance and Yacheng folk songs were listed into the protection projects for national intangible cultural heritage.
Favorably located at 18° N latitude, and coupled with a tropical oceanic monsoon climate, Sanya is reputedly known as a “great natural greenhouse”.The city averagesa temperature of around 25.4℃and 1,279 mm of precipitation annually. Boasting more than 300 sunny days and sunshine duration of 2, 563 hours a year, Sanya impresses with a sea water transparency of 5-16 meters and a forest coverage of 69%. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and sea on one side with 2 rivers flowing through the downtown, Sanya presents a pleasant mix of green mountains, blue ocean, clean river and picturesque city. Blessed with a superb location, Sanya emerges as a prestigious tropical tourism resort both at home and abroad featuring warm climate, bright sunshine, excellent air quality as well as flowers in full blossom all the year round. Moreover, Sanya has won many titles with pride, to name just a few, “National Ecological Model Zone”, “National Garden City”,“National Health City” and “China Livable Environment Award”. Sanya has every reason to emerge as “a forever tropical paradise embracing tourists from around the world” and “a place where the sunshine and air are exported worldwide”.It is the amazing natural scenery and ecological environment that hashence made Sanya all the more befitting for living, tourism and vacation.
Richly endowed by mother nature, Sanya is abundant with not only the ocean, beach, sunshine, vegetation and fresh air which are fundamental for modern tourism, but also distinct tourism resources such as hot springs, caves, ethnic customs, enchanting views, best air quality, and diverse culture, ranking second to none in China. In particular, Sanya houses the valuable tourism objectsincluding the comprehensive natural tourism destination, island reefs, sea erosion landform, diverse vegetation, marine creatures, weather and climate phenomena as well, which speak to the high level of marine tourism resources in China. Based on its competitive edge, Sanya has stepped up effortsto develop tourism industry, a pillar and leading industry. Continuous endeavor paid off - Sanya has been well-dotted with famous scenic spots such as Tianya Haijiao, Luhuitou, Nanshan, Daxiaodongtian, Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park and Wuzhizhou Islet, among which 14 ones are rated as Grade A and A plus, offering the densest scenic spots in Hainan Province.
In recent years, inspired by the commitment to building a world-class coastal tourism resort, Sanya’s infrastructureconstruction has gathered pace and the urban service function has been enhanced.The Phoenix Airport, West-ring High-speed Railway and Cruise Terminal have been completed in a row, thus creating a transport network involving“sea, land and air”in a comprehensive and multifaceted way. Currently, Sanya can be easily connected to 31 cities around the world with 37 running airlines. Sanya Phoenix International Cruise Terminal enables to handle cruises at a capacity of 225,000 tons throughput, which is the largest-everone in Asia. In addition, Sanya has set up world-class marinas such as Visun Yacht Marina and Serenity Marina. Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Mall, the global largest single duty-free shop, and Atlantis Hotel, the third tourism complex of its kind globally also settle in Sanya. As of the end of 2017, Sanya has built 250 tourist hotels and 57,300 guest rooms in total, among which 17 world-renowned hotel management groups such as Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott and Intercontinental as well as 55 of its sub-brands have been set up in Sanya. Adding that abatch of beautiful villages like Zhongliao , Wenmen and Bohou have been open to entertain guests. New business forms ranging from low-altitude aviation tourism, inland river tour, cruises, yachts, weddings to family vacation have gathered momentum. It is Sanya’s fantastic facilities and environment makes it all the more attractive to many cultural and sports events, namely, the Hainan International Film Festival and ISY Music Festival, Miss World Final, Volvo Ocean Race, and Clipper Race. With this we have seen a further rise in Sanya’s international level.
Since the launch of China's reform and opening-up, Sanya, with an enterprising and pioneering spirit, has kept working hard and made remarkable achievements in social and economic development. It amazingly has grown from a small fishing village into a well-known tourist destination at home and abroad. At present, the Communist Party of China Central Committee has decided to support Hainan in developing the whole island into apilot free trade zone, and gradually exploring and steadily promoting the establishment of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics, which indeed brings Sanya new major historic opportunities for development. To achieve this goal, Sanya will learn and implement in real earnest the underlying principles of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s important speech delivered on April 13, 2018, the No. 12 document issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and President Xi’s speech at a gathering celebrating the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Based on the deployment of the Central Committee and the decision of the CPC HainanProvincial Committee, we will keep frimly in mind Hainan’s strategic position of “three zones and one center”〔The three zones and one center is to build Hainan into a pilot zone fordeepening reform and opening-up on all fronts, a pilot national ecological zone, a major national strategic logistics zone and an international tourism and consumption center.〕and focus on tourism, modern services and high-tech sectors. We will strongly advance industry transformation and upgrading to secure high-quality development andwork hard with courage to set a benchmark in the construction of Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone and Free Trade Port with Chinese Characteristics.
Photo source：Meng Mingzhu
Tourists to Haikou, capital city of tropical Hainan province in South China, wil…