China´s government supports golf tourism

Significant growth predicted for China's Hainan Island in wake of new government measures

15th May 2018. Stakeholders from Hainan’s tourism industry have reacted positively to recent measures announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping that support the opening up of China’s tropical island province.

Senior executives from international brands Mission Hills Group, FC Barcelona, the NBA and Wet’n’Wild, all with a strong presence in Hainan, believe that Government reforms for the province – which include the introduction of free trade, sports betting and visa-free access to tourists from 59 countries – will provide a significant boost to tourism on the island known as ‘China’s Hawaii’.

Ken Chu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Hills Group, owner and operator of the luxury Mission Hills Haikou resort said: “With its tropical climate and clean air, Hainan Island is a popular destination for Chinese tourists, attracting 60 million visitors from the mainland in 2017 

The new reforms will further boost the number of international visitors – which last year exceeded 1.1 million, up nearly 50 per cent year on year – especially tourists from those 59 countries, including Australia, Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and the United States, who can now visit Hainan visa-free for up to 30 days each time.

“Also, the move towards Hainan becoming a trade free port by 2025 will put the island on a par with other major international ports such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Rotterdam and Singapore. As the starting point for the 21st century maritime silk road under the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative Hainan is primed for even greater developments.”

Located close to Hainan’s capital city of Haikou, Mission Hills is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest public golf facility, with 10 courses (plus another 12 at its Shenzhen resort), and the world’s largest mineral springs resort (168 mineral springs). The 22-square-kilometre fully-integrated complex also boasts theme parks, movie studios, sports training facilities and sports-themed visitor experiences, developed in collaboration with international brands including FC Barcelona, NBA and Wet’n’Wild.

In 2017, Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho was in Hainan to announce the creation of a major FC Barcelona football academy and an interactive football attraction and store at the resort.

Jordi Camps, Head of Business Development Asia-Pacific for FC Barcelona, recently crowned Spanish league champions for a record 25th time, commented: “We chose Hainan as the location for the world’s first wholly-managed and operated Barça Academy Pro as we believe in the island’s potential as an international tourism destination. The new reforms will attract more football players and fans alike to Hainan and further enhance the province as a football hub for China.”

Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant was another sporting superstar to visit Hainan during 2017, to witness the announcement of a first-of-its-kind NBA Destination at Mission Hills Haikou that will include an NBA basketball school plus an NBA interactive experience and store.

Wayne Chang, Chief Financial Officer of NBA China said: “The new reforms are another big step towards Hainan Province becoming a major international leisure and tourism destination. Our partnership with Mission Hills further builds on the NBA’s commitment to developing young basketball talent in China and we see Hainan as a future sporting center of excellence.”

Earlier this month Hainan’s newest water park, Wet’n’Wild opened at Mission Hills Haikou, surrounded by luxury hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton and The Renaissance. The water park is operated by Village Roadshow Limited, internationally recognized as one of the largest entertainment companies in the world.

Lee Carter, General Manager of Wet’n’Wild Haikou said: “Haikou is the first location in China for a Wet’n’Wild and will provide holiday makers with a truly international water park experience.  The new reforms for Hainan make it the perfect time for overseas travellers to take a trip to the island and discover this world-class destination.”


Mission Hills Group, owner and operator of Mission Hills resorts in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and on the tropical island of Hainan, is synonymous with leisure, wellness, entertainment and luxury.

Founded in 1992, Mission Hills is recognized as one of the world’s leading golf brands and a pioneer in China’s hospitality, sports and leisure industry. The world-class integrated leisure and wellness resort destinations have hosted more than 100 international tournaments, dating back to the World Cup of Golf in 1995, the first international golf tournament in China. Mission Hills has also been accredited by the Guinness World Records as the “World’s Largest Golf Club” and the “World’s Largest Mineral Springs and Spa Resort”.

Mission Hills’ properties sprawl over 40 square kilometres. They include 22 championship courses designed by renowned players and architects from five continents, five-star resorts, award-winning spas and volcanic mineral springs, international convention centres, state-of-the-art golf academies, a 20-pitch football training base, Asia’s largest basketball school and Asia’s biggest tennis facility. Mission Hills is also the official training headquarters for China’s Tennis, Football and Golf Associations.

The Group’s ‘golf and more’ leisure philosophy has seen its tourism-related business expand into a leisure hub for multi-generational families. Mission Hills Centreville in Shenzhen and Haikou provides integrated shopping, recreational, business, education, entertainment, leisure and cultural experiences, including Bromsgrove School Mission Hills in Shenzhen in collaboration with the historic British boarding school. Mission Hills has also extended its foray into the hospitality industry by partnering with world-renowned hotel brands such as Hard Rock, Renaissance and Ritz-Carlton. These collaborations have seen the opening of Ritz-Carlton’s first golf resort hotel in China and China’s first Hard Rock Hotel in Shenzhen.

Other significant projects include Movie Town in Haikou in partnership with China’s largest film production company, Huayi Brothers Media Corporation and award-winning director, Feng Xiaogang and China’s first Wet’n’Wild water park in collaboration with Australia’s leading entertainment group and largest theme park operator, Village Roadshow Limited.

Mission Hills has also announced ground-breaking partnerships with FC Barcelona and the NBA to bring the world’s most famous football club and the world’s largest professional basketball league to its Haikou resort, making Hainan island a leading hub for football and basketball development in China.

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Credits: Mission Hills China