Perhaps the solution to reports of Chinese tourists carving their initials in Egyptian temples and relieving themselves in Hong Kong subways is to keep more of them close to home, and a new tourism initiative by Fosun is betting RMB 10 billion that many of these travelers will want to head to Hainan for their holidays.
The closely held Chinese conglomerate, which also owns developer Forte, announced last week that its new Atlantis resort, which is patterned after a successful high-end vacation spot in Dubai, would start construction this year, and be ready to welcome visitors by 2016.
According to the group’s chairman, Guo Guangchang, the Sanya project will aim to attract families both from the mainland and overseas. Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Guo said, “Sanya has no lack of tourists and no lack of hotels, but what it currently lacks is an all-inclusive destination for families, which the Atlantis resort addresses.”
The Hainan project is just the first installment in a tourism initiative by the Shanghai-based company, which said that it plans to invest at least RMB 100 billion in China tourism projects in the years to come.
For the Atlantis resort, Fosun will partner with the builder of the Dubai version, South Africa’s Kerzner International Holdings Ltd, which initially gained fame through its Sun City casino project in its home market.
In recent years Fosun has sought to diversify away from its roots in residential real estate development, buying stakes in France’s Club Med and fashion brand Folli Follie. The company is currently awaiting regulatory approval to take over a controlling interest in Club Med, and last month opened its second Club Med in China, with three more planned by 2015.