As their people become wealthier and have more ability to travel the Chinese are always looking for new ways to promote travel within China. Their latest plan is to cater for the honeymoon market by turning an island in Fujian Province on the South East Coast into a haven for honeymooners.
Gulangyu, meaning `Drum Wave’ Island, is a car-free island just off the coast near the city of Xiamen. The island is home to about 20,000 people and is already a popular domestic tourist destination because of its beaches and reasonably good climate.
Gulangyu is just a five minute ferry ride from Xiamen, and was once a haven for foreign traders, who built distinctly European-style houses there. Gulangyu is also known as `Piano Island’ as it contains China’s only piano museum.
China’s planners are going to tinkle with Gulangyu even more, and have announced that ten honeymoon-themed hotels are to be built the in 2011, as well as several places that will be ideal for official wedding photos to be taken.
Currently, the most popular place in China for honeymooners is Sanya on the south shores of Hainan Island. However, local Fujian officials have noticed that Gulangyu is now a very popular spot for Chinese couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day, hence their urge to corner the honeymoon market.