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State Council issues development plan for tourism

Updated: Dec 26,2016 5:00 PM

China will further improve its tourism market during the period of the 13th Five-Year Plan as tourism becomes one of the pillars of China’s strategic industries, according to a plan issued by the State Council on Dec 26.

In 2015, the tourism industry made a contribution of 10.8 percent of the nation’s economy and China became the number one country for outbound tourists and ranked fourth in terms of inbound tourists, according to the plan.

In addition, the tourism industry contributed to 10.2 percent of the nation’s employment during the 12th Five-year Plan period.

The plan laid out the development goal for the tourism industry during the period of the 13th Five-Year Plan, aimed at reaching annual increases in number of tourists, tourism revenue, and tourism investment of 10 percent, 11 percent, and 14 percent, respectively.

Tourism investment will reach 2 trillion yuan ($280 billion) and total revenue in the industry will reach 7 trillion yuan by 2020.

According to the plan, the tourism industry will contribute 12 percent of the nation’s economy and more than 85 percent to sectors such as catering, hospitality, civil aviation, and railway passenger transportation.

Boosted by increasing consumption needs of diversified and high-quality tourism, the development of the tourism industry will have in-depth integration with industries such as agriculture, technology, culture, sports, and health.

Innovation will be carried out in the tourism industry to provide people with more high-quality and specialized choices, including countryside tourism, red revolution tourism, automobile tourism, maritime tourism, ice-snow tourism, and low-altitude flight tourism.

The development of the tourism industry should be coordinated with urbanization, industrialization, modernization of agriculture, and improvement of modern service industry, according to the plan.

The circular also called for building new-type tourism function areas, such as regional tourism city clusters (like Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze Delta, and Pearl River Delta), cross-regional tourism function areas with local characteristics (like Shangri La ethnic culture tourism area and Changbaishan forest ecological area), national competitive tourism belts (like Silk Road tourism belt and Qinghai-Tibet railway tourism belt), and national scenic roads (like Sichuan-Tibet Highway and Grand Canal scenic roads), and featured tourism destinations (like sea islands and grassland).

Related infrastructure construction is also expected to be improved and strengthened, including renovation of public facilities in rural areas, tourism transportation, and tourism-related public service system. Meanwhile, the quality of restaurants, new-type accommodations such as car camps and tent hotels, travel agencies, and tourism shopping should also be promoted and improved, according to the circular.

Additionally, the document urged promoting openness and cooperation in the tourism industry by carrying out One Belt, One Road international tourism cooperation, boosting inbound tourism, increasing tourism with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and orderly development of outbound tourism.

In order for the industry’s development to benefit more people and encourage the public to participate in the industry construction, rural tourism anti-poverty projects and tourism entrepreneurship and employment actions should be implemented. A total of 22,600 impoverished villages will be lifted out of poverty, and service platforms for tourism innovation and entrepreneurship will be built thanks to such efforts, and various tourism industrial incubators are encouraged to start construction.

Efforts should also be made to regulate the tourism market through innovating supervision mechanism, improving tourism credit system, promoting rational consumption and enhancing civilized tourism, said the circular.