Sales of duty-free shops in Hainan likely to exceed $4 billion in 2020

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/15 21:03:40

Tourists shop at a duty-free shopping mall in Sanya City, south China's Hainan Province, Oct. 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

Duty-free sales of offshore shops in South China's Hainan Province are expected to exceed 26 billion yuan ($3.97 billion) this year, and total sales including products that are taxed could surpass 31.5 billion yuan, according to the commerce department of Hainan on Tuesday.

Analysts said that China's total retail sales this year could drop 3 percent year-on-year due to the impact of the epidemic, but in 2021, consumption will likely see 13-percent growth. Consumption is expected to boost economic growth next year by more than 60 percent.

Between the launch of duty-free shopping in Hainan in 2011 and the end of 2019, a total of 16.31 million purchases had been made, with a total value of 53.8 billion yuan, according to customs data.

Affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Hainan's duty-free stores received fewer customers and sales fell. Although a huge number of tourists came back after the epidemic was brought under control in China, their absence in the first half of the year couldn't be offset. 

According to Haikou Customs, Hainan's offshore duty-free shops received some 1.78 million customers from July to October, the traditional travel peak season, up 58.8 percent from a year earlier, and sold 12.87 million duty-free products, up 139.7 percent. Total sales during the period reached 12 billion yuan.

The total sales of the four duty-free stores in Hainan this year had exceeded 30 billion yuan as of Monday, according to China Duty Free Group, which runs the shops.

Analysts are optimistic about consumption in 2021, saying that a significant rebound is to be expected.

Industries hit hard by the epidemic will have more room to recover in 2021, and industries such as in-person shopping, catering and hotels, sports and tourism will grow faster, according to an outlook from the Bank of Communications sent to the Global Times.

In-person consumption, such as catering, will become the main force of a recovery in the coming year, together with auto sales and real estate, read the report.

Some industries benefiting from the epidemic, such as medicine, epidemic prevention materials, e-commerce and some technology industries, may see a temporary slowdown in their growth in 2021 due to the high base in 2020.

E-commerce is one of the industries that gained from the epidemic. The total online transaction value for this year's Double Eleven (November 11) was close to 860 billion yuan, up 43.3 percent year-on-year, according to data from the China E-commerce Research Center. 

Transactions on Alibaba's Tmall totaled 498.2 billion yuan, up 85.62 percent year-on-year. Transactions on increased 32.82 percent year-on-year to 271.5 billion yuan. The two platforms accounted for 89.5 percent of total online transactions.

Newspaper headline: Sales of Hainan duty-free shops to surpass $4b this year

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