People shop at a duty-free store in Haikou, capital of South China’s Hainan province, on Nov 10, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — China’s southern island province of Hainan recorded a surge in spending at duty-free shops since the implementation of a new duty-free policy in July, official data showed.

The resort island recorded 15.9 billion yuan (about $2.43 billion) of duty-free spending by visitors from July 1 to Nov 30, a surge of 204 percent year-on-year, according to information from the National Development and Reform Commission.

During the period, about 2.96 million tourists visited the island, up 79 percent year-on-year.

Starting from July 1, Hainan increased its annual tax-free shopping quota from 30,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan per person.

The range of duty-free goods was expanded from 38 categories to 45, with some electronic products and wines newly added to the duty-free list.

China released a master plan in early June on building Hainan into a globally influential free-trade port.