China Daily/Asia News Network
The landmark one-stop resort complex, built with an 11 billion yuan ($1.74 billion) investment, will provided larger-than-life exotic and marine exhibits and offer rich dining experiences. (www.facebook.com/atlantissanya//File)
China's first Atlantis resort opened in Sanya on Saturday, marking a tourism milestone in tropical Hainan province and ushering in a higher level of service with integrated high-end entertainment, said local officials.
Atlantis Sanya's grand opening, which coincided with the festivities for the 30th anniversary of Hainan province, was marked by a gala unveiling event on Saturday night that was attended by Hainan government officials, business leaders, and Chinese and international and celebrities.
The landmark one-stop resort complex, built with an 11 billion yuan ($1.74 billion) investment, will provided larger-than-life exotic and marine exhibits and offer rich dining experiences. The complex is located at Haitang Bay, which has beautiful beaches that stretch more than 10 kilometers in northern Sanya, dubbed by some as the Hawaii of the East.
Guo Guangchang, chairman of the Shangghai-based conglomerate Fosun International that developed the resort, sees Atlantis Sanya as a response to the growing trend of family–focused hospitality, ushering in a new era for tourism in Hainan and China as a whole.
"Atlantis Sanya promises to redefine vacationing and propel Hainan Island into a new era of world-class hospitality and tourism," said Guo. "With something for every family member to enjoy, we've designed the ultimate multigenerational resort experience, focused on delivering quality family time and treasured memories that last a lifetime."
Overlooking the South China Sea, Atlantis Sanya covers some 540,000 square meters and boasts one of the largest open-air aquariums in the world, The Ambassador Lagoon, a unique underwater habitat, home to more than 86,000 species of marine life, enchants visitors as they journey to discover the mythical heart of Atlantis. The resort's 1,314 guest rooms and 154 suites not only offer spectacular island and coastal vistas, but also serene views of life below the waves. This is the first guest experience of its kind in China, immersing visitors in the mysteries of the ocean and allowing them to learn more about the richness and diversity of its inhabitants.
Heiko Schreiner, Atlantis Sanya's managing director, said, "We want Atlantis Sanya to be known as one that both amazes and inspires."
The grand opening of the resort hotel also shows Fosun's commitment to focus more on industries related to people's happiness, health and affluence, said Qian Jiannong, senior vice-president of Fosun International.
He said Atlantis Sanya will help attract more international tourists, as Sanya is still a new destination for people outside of China."The globalization of tourism will help to offset Sanya's seasonal sales differences. While Chinese tourists prefer to travel to Sanya during the winter, especially during the Spring Festival holiday, international visitors typically come during the summer when they take their annual leave," he added.
Michael Wale, CEO of Kerzner International, a global hospitality and leisure brand operator that manages the Sanya resort, believes Atlantis Sanya will continue the company's tradition of providing extraordinary holidays to tourists from all over the world. Atlantis Sanya joins Kerzner's flagship destination Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, both of which are currently under construction.
Atlantis Sanya has turned the concept of traditional hotels on its head by reinventing the complex holiday market. Atlantis Sanya will form a distinct tourism ecosystem in Hainan as well as play an industry-leading role in promoting structural reforms of the tourism industry in Hainan. From a broader perspective, Atlantis Sanya is in a class with Shanghai Disneyland and the upcoming Universal Studios in Beijing in promoting China as a world-class tourist destination and enhancing the overall tourism industry, according to experts at the opening event.
Atlantis Sanya is about 2 kilometers to the Sanya International Duty-Free Shopping Complex, the largest in the world. It will take about 50 minutes to drive from the resort to Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
In 2017, Hainan received 67.45 million tourists, generating about 81.2 billion yuan in revenue. The number of overseas tourists hit 1 million for the first time last year. By the end of 2017, there were 4,085 hotels and resorts in Hainan, including 134 five-star hotels. Twenty-five internationally established brands have entered Hainan, according to the Hainan Tourism Development Commission.
At the opening ceremony, Fosun Foundation announced that it would donate 10 million yuan to the Sanya Education Fund to aid the development of outstanding teachers, students and educational programs.