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China’s tourism industry welcoming billions of investment

Like other cultural industries, China’s tourism sector has seen billions of dollars in investment. Leading the charge is the country’s theme park industry, as well as online vacation rental services.

A whole new world of fantasy and adventure. After five years of construction, this June, Shanghai Disney Resort will finally open its doors, adding momentum to the country’s booming theme park industry.

Before the park officially opens to the public, total investment is expected reach $5.5 billion.

According to the China Tourism Academy, between 2013 and 2014, a total of 14 large theme parks opened in China. And by 2020, that number is expected to exceed 60, with total investments of more than 20 billion yuan ($3.06 billion).

“The Disney Resort will be a huge boost to the development of China’s theme park industry, tourist attractions, and number of travel destinations. There’s many ideas worth learning for reference. And huge projects like the Shanghai Disney park often attract huge investment worth billions and even tens of billions of yuan,” China Tourism Academy President Dai Bin said.

But the theme park industry isn’t the only one booming, a large amount of investment is also pouring into vacation rental homes.

Mr. Yang in Beijing spent 10 months rebuilding his courtyard, known as a Siheyuan in China, into this fascinating traditional Chinese style hotel.

He now uses an online vacation rental platform to attract customers, and receives a considerable number of guest bookings.

“This mode developed quickly last year thanks to the development of new Internet technologies and the credit system. Many house owners could easily rent out their lodgings to a stranger, while strangers could easily find accommodation that’s much warmer, larger and more comfortable for families than normal hotels,” Chen Chi, CEO of Vacation Rental Service Xiaozhu.com, said.

According to iResearch, the China vacation rental service Tujia.com received $100 million in financing in 2014, and another $300 million last year.

And other vacation rental services like Xiaozhu.com and Mayi.com also got more than $10 million in funding.

“This sector has huge market demand. We can see at present, this online vacation rental business has adequate funds in financing,” Dai said.

Last year, China’s tourism revenue exceeded 4 trillion yuan. And the industry contributed more than 7 trillion yuan to the country’s GDP, accounting for over 10 percent.