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Sanya is embracing eco-tourism to help protect this tropical destination

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Sanya is embracing eco-tourism to help protect this tropical destination
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Sanya, on China’s Hainan Island, doesn’t struggle to attract tourists, with its stunning mountains, rainforests and coastline.

But it wants to protect its natural beauty by towards a sustainable future, embracing all things green including eco-tourism.

Yalong Bay mountain forest area

Head to the Yalong Bay mountain area and you can be at one with nature.

Dense, rich rainforests Home to all sorts of trees and plants, mammals and bird species.

Here you can find the Bird’s Nest Resort a green-minded hotel, with lodges perched on the hillside, where you can stay amongst the trees in your own luxury treehouse.

"Our resort strives to integrate with the environment, from construction to functional use. We hope that every visitor can be close to nature, far away from the noise of the city," Jundan Huang, Manager, Engineering Dept, Yalong Bay Earthly Paradise Birds Nest Resort told Euronews.

"There are many environmental protection measures in our resort, such as a pump that uses air to heat water, solar energy and a rainwater and sewage recycling system."

"We encourage every guest who comes to our resort, to protect the environment and not to use non-degradable materials."

The Bird’s Nest is popular with tourists who love nature.

"I like such amazing views, I like to be in the fresh air. This is wonderful," says Aigul Sadreeva, a tourist from Kazan.

"I think it is, of course, important to protect all the nature and I think everyone should do it because it is our future, it is our life."

The Birds Nest is not alone in its green mission. When it opens in Sanya in January 2020, the ‘1 Hotel’ will have sustainability at its heart. It even has a farm, providing organic fruit and vegetables.

Protecting the city’s natural beauty

As Sanya looks to attract more international tourists it’s working to cut waste, recycle more and is going electric with its transport.

All buses will be electric in the next couple of years, with more than 600 already taking to the city’s roads.

The Sanya River National Wetland Park is also currently being created as a haven of tranquillity for visitors, with environmental benefits too.

"Sanya's beautiful ecological environment is the lifeline of its development, the Dong’an Wetland Park behind us is an important measure of protection, Xin Yang, Deputy Director-General, Sanya Municipal Ecology & Environment Bureau told Euronews.

"Sanya, taking part in a national ‘zero-waste’ pilot project needs the help of the public. For example, in waste reduction and recycling. It requires all citizens and tourists to make their own contributions."

Volunteers give their time too to help preserve Sanya’s natural environment.

Schoolchildren learn about the importance of protecting the city’s mangroves, and, along the nearby coast, volunteers regularly take to the sands to keep the beaches and sea clean, and free from plastics.

"We often work with some local tourism enterprises in Sanya to do some activities, such as mangrove planting, saving marine life," says Jixiang Zhou, Blue Ribbon Ocean Conservation Association.

"In addition, there are some hotels and scenic spots who put up marine protection posters. We hope to protect our beautiful Sanya through our efforts."

Balancing tourism with protecting the environment can be a big challenge, but it’s one Sanya is grasping as it looks to grow this holiday hotspot with sustainability in mind.

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