Hainan island duty free sales leap 200% over three-day New Year’s holiday

By Luke Barras-hill |

Shoppers flock to a new Sanya downtown shopping complex run by Hainan Tourism Investment Development Co in partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail.

Duty free sales on Hainan island skyrocketed by 195.16% year-on-year to RMB 540 million/US$83.6 million between 1-3 January, Haikou Customs has reported.

The New Year’s holiday period, including New Year’s day, set a new revenue record with shopper numbers up 80.9% to 776,000 with the volume of duty free items purchased surging by 200%.

Haikou Customs says it continues to liaise with enterprises in advance to establish their import and sales plans for duty free goods to better prepare for the uptick in consumer and stock volumes.

To improve customs clearance efficiency, priority inspections and 24-hour appointments have been implemented, alongside strengthened inspections and supervisions of commodities such as food and cosmetics.


In addition, outlying island tax exemption policies have been publicised in high-trafficked areas such as shops and at pick-up points.

“In the next step, Haikou Customs will further enhance the application of technological information technology in the supervision of duty free customs on outlying islands, continue to help optimise and upgrade Hainan’s outlying islands’ duty free policies, and ensure the healthy and stable operation of Hainan’s outlying islands’ duty-free policies,” said a Haikou Customs spokesperson.

On 30 December, three more offshore duty free shops opened in Hainan – a large downtown store in Sanya operated by Hainan Tourism Investment Development and Lagardère Travel Retail, CDF Sanya Phoenix Airport Duty Free Shop and CNSC Sanya International Duty Free Plaza.

CNSC’s new Sanya International Duty Free Plaza opened on 30 December.

Among a crop of further openings expected this year is a location in Haikou Mission Hills, with DFS Group supporting partner Shenzhen Duty Free Group.


Correct as of 28 December, Haikou Customs presided over a total RMB19.567 billion/ US$3bn in duty free sales since the tripling of Hainan’s offshore duty free allowance on 1 July. This represents an increase of +193.75% year-on-year.

Hainan’s offshore duty free industry continues to flourish, with sales exploding by 214% to $1.81 billion in the four months to 31 October.

In the Golden Week national holiday period (1-8 October), duty free sales were up by 150% to $155.3m.

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