China's state planner has announced the country will invest hundreds of billions of dollars in tourism and infrastructure facilitating holiday-makers. The sector already accounts for a tenth of annual growth.
Chinese officials said Wednesday the Asian country aimed to pump 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion, 272 billion euros) into the tourism sector by 2020, adding that it planned to attract more private investment into the industry.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced it was planning a batch of key tourism projects and proactively guide what it called "social capital" - a term Beijing uses for private investment.
The figures were stated in a joint release from the NDRC and the China National Tourism Administration in response to guidelines from the state cabinet to reform the sector.
China's tourism industry is expected to employ roughly 50 million people by 2020, which would account for over 10 percent of total employment.
Tourism is already contributing more than 10 percent of annual economic growth. The world's second-largest economy has been keen to develop and expand its services industry to offset the impact of persistently weak global demand for its exports.
The number of tourists visiting China has been increasing steadily over the past few years. There's also been a growing interest among Germans to travel to the Asian nation.
Back in 1995, 166,500 German tourists visited China. By 2015, that number had swollen to well over 600,000 annually.
hg/jd (Reuters, Indian Express)