Haikou Meilan Airport Duty Free Shop Co Ltd is expecting a 33% rise in duty free sales to RMB1.6bn ($240m) this year, once this month’s sales are included in the total for the Hainan Province-based operation in China.

This dramatic increase has been helped by last February’s positive impact from the doubling of the ‘domestic duty free shopping allowances’ in Hainan Province to RMB16,000 ($2,317) for non-resident departing visitors travelling directly to other destinations in China.

DEREGULATED ALLOWANCES BOOST SALES

There is also no longer any limit on the number of visits in a single year that non-Hainan residents can make to purchase duty free goods up to the new increased allowance limit. This relatively new entitlement is directly aimed at encouraging more mainland vacationers to visit Hainan, rather than travel overseas on short-break shopping trips.

It has also clearly been introduced as central government policy to slow the previous rapid increase in overseas spending by Chinese tourists. Clearly, Hainan is now being offered as a real alternative destination for more Chinese to holiday and spend their money in China, rather than travelling overseas.

Last year, duty free sales reached RMB1.24bn ($190m) at Haikou Meilan Airport’s duty free shop, with perfume […]