Seas of potential

Island tourism is luring a growing number of Chinese travelers, Yang Feiyue reports.

About a third of outbound Chinese travelers opt for island destinations, according to a report by the International Islands Tourism Conference in Zhejiang province’s Zhoushan in late August.

That’s as outbound travel from China increased nearly 15 percent to 150 million visits.

About 70 islands in China and overseas have become major destinations for Chinese, the report says. Over 40 percent of them generate at least a fifth of their GDP from tourism.

“Island tourism enables people to enjoy nature and improve health,” Zhejiang’s vice-governor, Cheng Yuechong, told the conference hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and Zhejiang’s government.

Tourism players from 24 countries and regions attended to discuss cooperation and seek ways to better tap islands’ potential.

“We hope to strengthen exchanges with well-known island destinations around the world and jointly develop a high-quality island-tourism industry,” Cheng says.

A total of 21 project agreements, involving nearly 50 billion yuan ($6.9 billion), were signed at the conference.

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