A new theme park in Sanya, on Hainan Island off southern China, has become the first in the country to operate on a 24-hour basis.

Haichang Ocean Park Holdings has officially started its Sanya Haichang Fantasy Town Project three weeks after a “soft” launch.

The group announced that it is now in 24-hour full-season operation mode, offering a world-class ocean-themed entertainment and leisure experience.

The Fantasy Town recreation complex is located in the center of Sanya Haitang Bay on the island’s southeast coast. With an area of about 232,500 square meters, Haichang has eight creative and culturally-represented themes, namely Haitang Bay, the African Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Bay of Bengal, the Java Sea, the South China Sea, the Waterfront Promenade, and the Dream Ocean Theater.

It also features 13 major attractions, two grand theatre shows, more than 30 universal amorous feelings shows, eight themed restaurants, over 50 specialty restaurants and 30 themed commodity stores.

Fantasy Town is a strong tourist spot because of its year-round spring weather and rivals Mission Hills Centreville Haikou. The latter offers a 22-hole golf course and night bars operated by Hong Kong entertainment group Lan Kwai Fong since 2016.

Hainan to get casinos?

Hainan, which is about the same size as Switzerland, aspires to be an international tourist center and is reinventing itself after Beijing began to look at allowing gambling on the island last year.

Gambling is a popular national pastime in China so it is quite likely that Hainan will turn into a sleepless city. And, Fantasy Town and its theme park is only the first mover in that direction.

Last May, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced it will increase the number of countries whose citizens can enter Hainan province without needing a visa from 26 to 59. Meanwhile, the number of days that a ‘visa-free’ visitor can stay in the southern Chinese province was doubled from 15 to 30.

The new policy aims to support the opening up of Hainan province and draw more international tourists to the island, according to a statement published by China’s State Immigration Authority.