[photopress:Hotels_Xisha_islands.gif,full,alignright]Hainan Special Zone News quoted a Hainan provincial tourism bureau source as saying it planned to permit large tour companies the right to organize visits to the remote Xisha islands. Tour groups will only be allowed to visit along designated routes.
The Xisha Islands are more than 180 nautical miles away from Sanya, the southern end of Hainan Island. The islands are renowned for their tropical beauty and the Hainan provincial government proposed to tap the islands’ tourism resources back in 1994.
Ouyang Jie, a media worker who visited the islands last year, said, ‘The islands’ scenery is even more beautiful than that of Hainan Island. The seawater is so clear you can see fish more than 10m under the surface. Tropical plants are everywhere, and there are birds that you cannot find elsewhere. But the islands are short of drinking water and food, and there are military garrisons based there.’
A researcher, who participated in the preparatory study of the plan, told China Daily the scarcity of food and water would not be a problem. He said, ‘Tourists will be traveling to the islands on board cruise ships.’ The delay in implementing the plan is that, as yet, not all parties have agreed to it. But it seems likely.
Source: China Daily