Hong Kong-like horse racing won’t appear in Hainan
State Council plan to sidestep gambling could be major blow to the region's hopes of becoming an international tourist draw
The Hong Kong horse racing model will not appear in the Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone, The Paper reported, citing analysts.
In the latest overall plan issued by the State Council to develop Hainan province into an FTZ, issues such as horse racing and tax exemptions, which were hotly debated, were not mentioned.
Zeng Bowei, director of China Tourism Economics and Policy Research Center at Beijing Union University, thinks there will be specific policies in these areas, but models like Hong Kong horse racing will not appear in Hainan.
While some people in Hainan associate development of horse racing with the hedonistic pursuits of gambling and casinos, the outcome could deal a major blow to the region, which had hopes of becoming a major international tourist draw.
Despite pristine beaches and plush resorts, the region has failed to become a major tourist magnet, falling well behind other destinations such as Thailand in tourism numbers.
So far, the Hainan Provincial Horse Racing Development Plan has made no mention of any such activities. It is now seeking opinions from relevant parties for further revisions before its official release.