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Profile of Sanya

Print english.sanya.gov.cn Updated: 2022-02-17

The city of Sanya, also called "Lucheng", was officially established with the approval of the State Council in May 1984. It is located on southern Hainan Island and borders Lingshui county in the east, Ledong county in the west, Baoting county in the north, and the South China Sea in the south.


The city has jurisdiction over four administrative districts, namely Haitang, Jiyang, Tianya, and Yazhou, with a total land area of 1,921 square kilometers and a sea area of 3,500 square kilometers.

According to the seventh national population census, Sanya now has a population of 1,031,396, growing at more than 50 percent since 2010.


With its unique geographical environment, Sanya is the only city in China that can enjoy a tropical rainforest and ocean scenery at the same time. The city is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and the three beautiful landscapes of mountains, the sea, and rivers merge naturally. Many of its hilltops also provide places overlooking the sea, river bay, and urban landscape.The natural scenery and excellent ecological environment make Sanya a paradise for daily living, travel, and vacations.


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A distinctive bamboo dance of Sanya. [Photo/sanya.gov.cn]


With a rich and long history, the city of Sanya also boasts rich intangible cultural heritages, with two local art forms, dachaiwu (chopping wood dance) of the Li ethnic group and Yacheng Folk Songs, selected as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006, as well as seven cultural items listed on the provincial intangible cultural heritage list.


The city has won the titles of "National Ecological Demonstration Zone", "National Garden City", "National Health City", and "China Habitat Environment Award".

In 2020, the city of Sanya opened its tourism industry wide to the outside world, actively promoting its visa-free policy for 59 countries.

According to statistics from Sanya Phoenix International Airport, the airport hosted 116,000 flights, transported 16.6 million passengers, and handled 212,000 metric tons of cargo and mail in 2021. The airport achieved an annual passenger throughput exceeding 10 million passengers by July 5, which exceeds 10 million passengers 87 days earlier than 2020, and Sanya's passenger throughput has exceeded 10 million for 11 consecutive years.

In 2021, the city's GDP reached 83.54 billion yuan ($13.18 billion), a year-on-year increase of 12.1 percent. The added value of the primary industry was 9.38 billion yuan, representing 3.8 percent growth; that of the secondary industry was 12.47 billion yuan, registering a growth of 0.1 percent; that of the tertiary industry was 61.67 billion yuan, an increase of 16.1 percent.

In 2021, Sanya's investment in fixed assets increased by 10.8 percent. Its total retail sales of consumer goods were 54.5 billion yuan, increasing by 43.1 percent. Its revenue in local governments' general public budgets was 11.71 billion yuan, increasing 6.1 percent. The number of its overnight tourists reached 21.62 million and the total tourism revenue generated was 74.7 billion yuan, respectively increasing 19.7 percent and 65.2 percent.


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The beautiful sea view in Sanya. [Photo/sanya.gov.cn]


Districts of Sanya


Yazhou district


Located west of Sanya city, Yazhou district was part of the ancient city of Yazhou. It boasts a long history and rich culture, with 23 national and municipal level historical and cultural sites within its jurisdiction under government protection. The Yacheng Confucius Temple (Yacheng Xuegong), first established in the Qingli Period of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), is the southernmost Confucius temple in China. The town of Yacheng and village of Baoping are both listed as national historical and cultural sites. Yazhou is known as "Sanya's bloodline of culture" due to its enriched cultural heritage of unique local characteristics. Yazhou folk song and the Langdian firewood-collecting dance are national intangible cultural heritages. In Yazhou district, the two 5A tourist attraction sites, Nanshan Temple and Dongtian Park (Daxiaodongtian), represent Buddhist and Daoist cultures respectively.


Tianya district


Tianya district is located in mid-west Sanya city. It neighbors Jiyang district to the east, connects with Yazhou district to the west, faces the sea to the south, and borders Baoting Li and Miao autonomous county to the north. The district hosts the world-famous tourist site, the End of the Earth (Tianya Haijiao), which attracts visitors from all over the world every year. Sanya Bay neighbors the Sanya Phoenix International Airport and Sanya downtown, and spans a distance of over 22 kilometers. Like a silver belt, the coastline integrates perfectly with Sanya city, adding to its beauty. Phoenix Island near Sanya Bay is a high-end tourist resort island, and is designed to be one of the largest international cruise home ports in Asia.


Jiyang district


Jiyang district, located in the mid-east part of Sanya city, is the location of the city government. The district has mountains in the north and faces the sea to the south; it enjoys natural conditions and other unique advantages in location, resource and environment. Within the district, there are beaches such as Dadonghai, Xiaodonghai and Yalong Bay, as well as landmark attractions such as Luhuitou Park, Sanya Romance Park, Sanya Phoneix Valley, Linchunling Forest Park, Yalong Bay Tropic Forest Park and Yalong Bay Rose Valley; there are also the beautiful villages of Zhongliao, Damao, and Bohou. In addition to natural landscape and cultural relics, the district boasts diversified resources for tourists, including the Hongzhou cruise terminal, sailing ports, golf courses, maritime entertainment, shopping malls, and a wide range of restaurants and food choices.


Haitang district


Haitang district is the eastern gate to Sanya city. The district hosts Haitang Bay, which is reputed as a "national coastline". It is uniquely positioned with outstanding natural scenery of mountains, sea, beaches, and woods bordering the sea for 22.4 kilometers. Other attractions include the "First Spring of China" Nantian Hotspring, Wuzhizhou Island, Yezizhou Island, ancient Islamic tombs, and Tenghai Bay, where the sunrises are spectacular. Domestic and international brand-name hotels, such as Atlantis, InterContinental and Double Tree by Hilton, are located here. The district is a high-end resort visited by global and domestic consumers. It also manages the world's largest single duty-free shop.

An aerial view of Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex. [Photo/IC]

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