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Travel & Leisure

China duty-free shoppers turn Hainan into tourist hub

Businesses cater to travelers deterred by prolonged pandemic abroad

Hainan duty-free sales are expected to exceed 50 billion yuan this year. (Photo by CK Tan) 

SANYA, China -- Eagerly snapping up bargains, Zhang is typical of the crowds of shoppers who have made the Chinese island of Hainan a key hub for global duty-free retail amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's cheap," said the housewife from Guangzhou, who did not give her full name but spent 13,000 yuan ($2,012) on two Burberry bags and cosmetics -- enjoying discounts of up to 40% -- during a visit to the island's duty-free outlets last month.

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