Tourism: Health and Joy’ for China’s ‘Coconut City


China’s “Coconut City”, the resort city of Haikou on the island province of Hainan, will launch its 2018 tourist season on January 14 when the starting gun fires for the 2018 Haikou Marathon. Organizers have been overwhelmed with people who are eager to “run joyfully on the healthful island,” having received nearly 1 million applications for entry. The race is just the first in a planned a series of events to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Hainan’s founding.

The Haikou Marathon, boasting an improved course and upgraded services, will start in the picturesque, landmark Meishe River Fengxiang Wetland Park, which embodies the city’s efforts to repair its ecosystem. The course then zig-zags through the city’s most beautiful spots, including Riverside Avenue, Baishanmen Park, Century Bridge, Evergreen Garden, and Xixiu Beach. The route will create a unique racing experience that will immerse athletes in Haikou’s natural ecology and poetic landscape.

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Marathon enthusiasts will find themselves running shoulder-to-shoulder with a diverse range of athletes from around the world and from all walks of life. Official race T-shirts are made of cozy fabrics and are woven with Hainan’sunique elements of naturalness and joy, highlighting the event’s mentality of running for health and happiness. Each T-shirt has five Chinese characters printed on the back, which spell out “I love you, Haikou” in the local dialect – a tagline that expresses participants’ passion toward the city.

To ensure the success of the race, government agencies at all levels are working hand-in-hand to provide superior services including medical assistance and traffic control, said Xie Xiaoping of the Hainan government’s Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Publication, and Sports.

The 2018 Haikou Marathon has received support from China’s leading developer, R&F Properties, which has been actively promoting athletics and a healthy lifestyle by sponsoring the event every year since 2015.

“Running with Joy In China.”

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.