China announces widespread tourism reforms

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Photo by Hung Chung Chih
Photo by Hung Chung Chih

The Chinese government has announced significant new plans to develop its tourism industry, Xinhua reports.

According to a statement released after an executive meeting of China’s State Council, the country will aim to use tourism to boost employment and income, in an effort to improve people’s livelihoods.

The meeting also urged the acceleration of tourism development projects, including the construction of regional airports, roads to scenic spots, parking lots and toilet facilities, especially in less-developed regions of central and western China.

Tourism products focusing on rural areas will be supported, and the government will encourage the creation of small tourism businesses, as a way to alleviate rural poverty. Tourism products dedicated to elderly travellers and students should also be developed, the statement said.

Finally, the meeting agreed to promote public-private-partnerships (PPP) as a way of developing tourism projects, as well as opening up new sources of financing for tourism enterprises.

China is aiming to double its domestic tourism spending by the end of the decade, with a target of CNY5.5 trillion (US$898 billion) by 2020. By this time, it is expected that Chinese citizens will take an average of 4.5 holidays a year.

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