China’s State Council reiterates support for the tourism industry in a recently published directive. The “General Office of the State Council’s directive on the promotion of tourism investment and consumption” issued on August 11 serves to encourage tourism investments and open up new tourism consumer markets while promoting tourism consumption and cultivating new consumer trends.
Premier Li Keqiang throws the full wieght of the State behind the tourism industry
Following are excerpts from some of the most relevant portions in the paper:
Upgrading basic facilities and consumer environment
1) Efforts will be made to improve the tourism consumption environment. Comprehensive quality standards will be set for tourism products and services, to regulate tourism businesses and improve management standards in hotels, guesthouses, attractions and tour operators. There will be a renewed effort to enforce order in the tourism market by clamping down on false advertising, pricing fraud, cheating and gauging, unfair competition by price slashing and illegitimate “single-day tours”. A record system of tourists’ uncivilized behavior will be enhanced. Complaint mechanisms and service quality monitoring will also be improved, and price reforms will be carried out on attractions ticketing.
2) Urban tourism information centers and distribution centers will be upgraded to meet local needs, and information centers will be introduced before 2020 in attractions of 3A rating and above, key rural tourism areas, bus terminals and ferry wharfs.
3) Transportation infrastructure and parking facilities at attractions will be strengthened and construction of highway links to A-grade attractions will be accelerated.
4) Regional airports will be constructed in central and western China, and LCCs and domestic charter flight services will be encouraged.
5) Commercial enterprises will be encouraged to build, maintain and manage 57,000 new and remodeled restrooms nationwide within three years.
Implementing tourism investment plan and pioneering new markets
6) Facility development for motor and RV tourism will be accelerated. Facility standards stipulating check-in procedures and emergency rescue plans will be developed. The industry will be encouraged to build 1,000 RV campsites nationwide by 2020, especially in ethnic minority regions, on the Silk Route and the Yangtze River region.
7) The cruise industry will be promoted. The State will support research, planning and manufacturing of medium and large cruise ships domestically. A total of 10 departure cruise ports is anticipated by 2020.
8) Yacht tourism will also be promoted to the mass market. Basic marina facilities will be constructed and paperwork for boat owners will be simplified by 2017.
9) Specialty tourism will be heavily promoted, especially the integration of novel urban tourism facilities and modern tourism industry development.
10) Resort travel products will be developed. The State will encourage private capital investments in resorts in hot springs, ski sites, beaches, islands and mountains.
11) Tourism-related manufacturing will be promoted. The State will encourage manufacturing of cruise ships, yachts, RV, small planes, ziplines, and adventure and outdoor tourism equipment.
12) Aggressive development of “online+ tourism” will be implemented. The expansion of online travel platform businesses and offline resource integration will be actively promoted as will new technology, the creation of a new tourism industry ecosystem and the set-up of third party payment platforms specifically for the industry.
Implementing consumer promotion plan and cultivating new trends
13) Souvenirs will be enriched through incubating a group of leading enterprises in product development, production and sales, and promoting heritage brands and ethnic tourism merchandise.
14) Senior tourism will be actively developed. Nationwide senior tourism development guidelines will be implemented to define service and encourage multi-level development and product diversification.
15) The State will support tourism industry research. Research centers will be set up and studies will be encouraged at natural and cultural heritage sites, communist tourism sites, large-scale public facilities, famous educational institutions, research institutes, industrial and mining enterprises and mega farms.
16) Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) tourism will be actively developed. Model Chinese medicine tours integrating TCM rehabilitation, wellness and cultural experiences will be introduced.
17) Rural tourism will be reinforced and diversified, with an emphasis on the preservation of ethnic communities and ancient cities. Rural tourism towns will be developed in locations with historical, regional and ethnic characters.
21) Labor compensation in the tourism industry will be standardized, and the governments on all levels will be directed to enforce paid holidays for tourism workers.(Translation by David)