IFTM Around the World Main Headline

IFTM students on exchange to study Hainan’s development

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A group of 12 IFTM students travelled to the southern island province of Hainan on an exchange from 22 to 28 December to look at the development of the island as an international tourist destination.

The “Hainan International Tourism Island Construction” study tour was arranged by IFTM and the Hainan University – Arizona State University Joint International Tourism College in the provincial capital, Haikou. The visit was part of the “Ten Thousand People’s Scheme” arranged by the Central People’s Government Ministry of Education to offer students in Macao and Hong Kong a clearer picture of Mainland China.

The visiting students focused on the effort to make Hainan an international tourist destination. Their interaction with leading figures at the Joint International Tourism College, and the staff and students there, informed the IFTM students about the development of Hainan University and the international system of education followed by the College. They discussed the development of Hainan, the pros and cons of the growth of tourism, and the aim of making the island what the authorities call “an international tourism consumption centre”.

The visitors attended a thought-provoking lecture by staff of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou. The lecture informed the audience about the Chinese proposition for the South China Sea and associated challenges. It was a valuable opportunity to learn about Chinese sovereignty over parts of the South China Sea.

“I benefited greatly from the lecture,” said one of the IFTM students, Apenie Ao. “I got a better understanding of the sovereignty issues in the South China Sea and gained new insights into the topic.”

The exchange gave the IFTM students a taste of the rich cultural and natural resources of Hainan. They saw how the unique cultures of the ethnic minorities that inhabit the island are promoted. They visited the Binglanggu Li and Miao Cultural Heritage Park, a top attraction for tourists, where they learned how to dance the traditional Li bamboo pole dance and sing the Li song “Jiu Jiu Bu Jian Jiu Jiu Jian”, which means, in English, “It has Been A Long Time”.

The visiting students toured attractions such as the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark, Wuzhizhou Island and the Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park. They also inspected the Atlantis Hotel and Sanya International Duty Free City to get an idea of how rapidly the hotel and duty-free retailing businesses are growing in Hainan.

“I hope that Hainan can maintain its core characteristics: sunshine, sea, beaches and green scenery,” said another of the IFTM students, Aaron Nip. Aaron wished the province success in reaching its goal of becoming an international tourism consumption centre.

The exchange taught the IFTM students about the history, culture and development of Hainan. It was a chance to build friendships with Mainland Chinese students that may lay the foundations for future cooperation between Macao and Hainan.

“Hainan is developing rapidly and has support from national policies. For young people and the new generation, regions under development represent opportunities, and we need to make Hainan Island better,” said yet another IFTM student, Sunny Ouyang. “Some of my friends and I have resolved to go to Hainan to develop our careers after we complete our studies at IFTM.”

By IFTM Lecturer Mr. Xing Fang