When you think about duty-free shopping, you are most likely to conjure up images of cigarette cartons, liquors, chocolates and perfumes. However, the Haitang Bay International Shopping Center, the world’s largest duty-free shop located in China’s Hainan boasts more than 300 international brands in the tariff-free haven. A few of the 300 brands available in the Haitang Bay shopping center include Burberry, Chanel, and Dior. While for several brands like Prada, Rolex and Giorgio Armani, it is the first time they have appeared in a Duty Free Shop on the Chinese mainland.
The massive 72,000 square meters Haitang Bay shopping center opened its doors earlier this week after much anticipation. It will replace an existing DFS in downtown Sanya that is just one seventh of the new store’s size. The shopping center is part of the region’s bid to keep Chinese shoppers from travelling outside shores.
China International Travel Service Group (CITS) has invested 5 billion yuan (about 814 million U.S. dollars) in the center, which is run by China Duty Free Group under CITS. The State Council, China’s cabinet, gave Hainan permission to run a duty-free program on a trial basis in April 2011 to promote the island as a world-class international tourist destination by 2020. From 2011 to 2013, Hainan saw an annual 15-percent increase in its tourism revenue on average, with offshore duty-free sales accounting for 10 percent of the total revenue.
[Via – Jing-Daily]