The southern Chinese city of Beihai has announced that it has signed several agreements to open new facilities in the region.
17 major tourism projects with a focus on entertainment and culture were signed. They represent a total investment of 134 billion yuan ($19.5 billion USD).
Three of the projects will see investment of more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion), seven with investment of 2 to 10 billion yuan (US$300 million – 1.5 billion) and seven with investment of less than 2 billion yuan (US$300 million).
The projects include five tourism complexes, three themed amusement parks and two tourism infrastructure projects. Agreements have also been signed for the creation of high-end hotels, recreational facilities, sports arenas and improvements to the airport.
Major international hotel groups will open a property in Beihai – including Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental and Wyndham. It is hoped that this will prompt the construction of more down the line.
The city is experiencing a period of sustained and rapid growth in the tourism sector. In 2017, the city received 30.698 million domestic tourists, representing an increase of 24% over the prior year. Spending was 36.5 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion), an increase of 28%. Between January and August this year, the city received 25.447 million domestic tourists, an increase of 28.3% on the same period last year. Spending was 32.3 billion yuan (US$4.7 billion), an increase of 37.4%.
China Excellent Tourism City
Beihai was also listed in the first group of cities designated as an China Excellent Tourism City by the China National Tourism Administration.
The administration noted the sea-related elements that make Beihai unique and worthy of the list. These included the expanse of ocean itself and the grey-white quartz sand beach. It also included reference to the accessible islands, seafood markets, marine treasures and seabed coral. It also mentions the marine life, maritime forests, an aquarium specializing in shellfish and coral, and an area at the aquarium featuring Chinese naval history.
Earlier this month, Hainan province announced it would build a number of of brand-name theme parks and other resorts. It is part of the area’s goal to become an international tourism destination.