South China's Hainan Province plans to open another 20 international air routes by the end of this year as the island strives to build itself into a major international tropical resort and free trade port, the provincial tourism department said on Sunday.
The first flight set off from Sanya Phoenix International Airport heading to London on Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Photo: VCG)
More flights will be opened to link the island with China's Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as Russia and Southeast Asian countries. The number of international flights is expected to reach 100 by 2020, the department said.
The island received more than 1.1 million overseas tourists in 2017, up nearly 50 percent year on year.
The number of international tourists reached 946,000 in the first half of this year, with a year-on-year growth of 16.26 percent.
Under a new policy released in May, group and individual tourists from 59 countries and regions, including Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, can visit Hainan visa-free and stay for up to 30 days on condition that they book their tour through travel agencies.
Hainan currently has 53 international air routes, including 12 opened or resumed in the first half of this year.