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Tourism powers economic growth

Updated: Aug 15,2016 1:59 PM

The tourism industry is becoming a strong engine for economic growth, transformation and upgrading, with an increase in inbound tourism for six consecutive quarters as of the first half of this year.

A tourism boom is expected as policy measures promoting tourism, such as the State Council’s guideline on boosting the development of the tourist industry and the country’s 13th five-year plan for tourism development (2016-20), begin to take effect, the National Tourism Administration said.

The National Tourism Administration recently announced that the country planned to construct 500 camps for caravans in 2016, which is estimated to bring about an investment of 35 billion yuan ($5. 26 billion).

So far, China has fewer than 30,000 caravans and 500 camps, which pale in comparison to the corresponding figures of 10 million and 16,000 for the US, signaling that China still has a big potential to explore this area, according to the National Tourism Administration.

To foster the new driving force for economic development, travel and leisure has become one of the ten consumption items jointly promoted by several departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, in April.

In addition, the tourism industry has provided more than 10 percent of the country’s job opportunities, while traditional industries have downsized due to overcapacity.

The number of domestic tourists is estimated to grow by about 10 percent to 4.4 billion this year, as the tourism market is expected to see stable growth in the second half of the year, experts said.