Luaus, lei, stunning beaches and huge volcanoes. It’s easy to see why Hawaii is such a draw for tourists. Just under 10.5 million of us descended upon the island state in 2019, a 5% increase over the preceding year (that number has unsurprisingly decreased drastically in 2020).
But for all its allure, there is in fact a ‘second Hawaii’ in China that is seeing a surge in domestic tourism in the wake of the global pandemic, and could well prove to be the best Bali alternative for Australians seeking some serenity as soon as borders open.
Hainan – the smallest and southernmost province of China which is dominated by Hainan Island and further populated by 200 smaller islands – is a tropical paradise and worlds apart from the smog-filled metropolises of mainland China.
According to Traveller, it has recently recorded six months without a single case of COVID-19, a fact that Hawaii can’t match. The US state has recorded 18,712 cases in total, 260 deaths and, at the time of writing, recorded 53 new cases.
Mainland China is currently recording low numbers of new cases itself, but with its residents expectedly unwilling to travel to other tropical hotspots, they’re now looking a little closer to home for their end of year getaway thrills.