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China’s Hainan aims to attract tourists from Nordic countries and Russia

HELSINKI, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Hainan province in southern China is hoping to attract tourists from Nordic countries and Russia, a delegation from Hainan has said.

The delegation comprising artists, media and politicians from Hainan is currently visiting Finland, Norway and Russia, exhibiting scenic photos, showing traditional music and dance and updating the open-up policies.

Wang Qi, head of the delegation, said the three countries are among the 59 nations in the newly announced visa waiver program. The citizens of these countries are allowed, starting from May 2018, to enter Hainan province without a visa if they stay there no longer than 30 days. A tourist agency of Hainan is required to be the operator though.

The warm climate and coastal recreation in the tropical island with a population of 9 million may offer an alternative destination for Scandinavians to choose to spend their summer vacation instead of Spain or Italy, Li Haojie, a TV documentary editor from Hainan Broadcasting Station, told Xinhua on Thursday.

At an introduction event held in the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki early this week, 74 photos were displayed with three themes — “This is Hainan”, “International Tourism Island” and “Cultural Exchange”, showing the economic, social and cultural development of Hainan province in the past 30 years since it was approved as a special economic zone.

Artists from Hainan Provincial Ethnic Song and Dance Ensemble performed the dance, Embroidery, which reflected the embroidery culture of Hainan Miao people. The dance was said to be created specially for this event.

Traditional bamboo and wood musical instruments were used in other songs and dances. Chen Liang, deputy chief of the Ensemble, even performed pieces of music simply using a rubber tree leaf, winning applause of the 50 strong audience.

The traditional dying and embroidery technique of Li people was shown at the scene. Fu Renling and Fu Renjian, two girls from eastern Hainan, showed a number of handicrafts such as costumes and scarves made from brocades of Li ethnic group. The traditional technique has been listed on UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding”.

“This cultural exhibition is impressive and gives an overview of the beauty of Hainan. It is expected that there could be more exchanges between Hainan and Helsinki and Finland in terms of culture and education,” said Catia Suomalainen Pedrosa, director of Helsinki International Cultural Center.

Similar events are landing in Oslo, Norway and Moscow, Russia in mid-September.

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