With the development of the economy and the shift in people's ideas and views, the travel demands of people around the world grows stronger day by day.
The total revenue of the global tourism industry and the number of tourists around the world has doubled every 10 years since 1950, a higher growth rate than global economic growth. The tourism industry plays an increasingly important role in national and provincial GDP.
By the end of 2017, there were 23 5A-level scenic spots and six national-level tourist resorts in Jiangsu province, which ranked first in the country. The number of travel agencies and guides totaled 2,602 and 50,298.
The number of domestic and overseas tourists received by Jiangsu province in 2017 was 747 million, with an average annual growth rate of 9.6 percent in the past five years.
The total revenue of the tourism industry in Jiangsu in 2017 reached 1.16 trillion yuan ($168.13 billion), an average annual increase of 12.2 percent in the past five years. The value added was 519.5 billion yuan, with average annual growth rate of 12.2 percent, accounting for more than 6 percent of Jiangsu province's GDP.
Additionally, Jiangsu is striving to develop its tourism into a high-quality industry'and accelerating its transformation from a big tourism province to a leading one.
To achieve its goals, Jiangsu has developed some new scenic spots, tourist projects and tourism development models, as well as new routes.
Nianhua Bay in Lingshan Scenic Area in Wuxi, and the Oriental Salt Lake Resort in Changzhou are both new scenic spots developed by Jiangsu province in recent years. According to Zhang Jianhao, the general manager of Wuxi Lingshan Cultural Tourism Group, Nianhua Bay, which has been open for only two years, has achieved annual revenue of 600 million yuan.
The number of new tourist projects with investment over 10 billion yuan reached 18 by the end of 2017. They included the Xu Xiaoke Scenic spot in Jiangyin, a county-level city in Wuxi, with an investment of 20 billion yuan.
The new model for tourism development is a combination of tourism and well-known cultural elements, such as the world-famous book, Journey to the West. Lianyungang, by integrating its tourism with traditional culture, such as Journey to the West, attracted 33 million tourists in 2017 and achieved total revenue of 44 billion yuan.
Jiangsu also completed construction of 13 tourism highways in 2017 which connected major scenic spots in the city and rural tourist attractions, making it more convenient for tourists to travel from one scenic spot to another.
This year, Jiangsu will start building new sightseeing routes on the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the Yangtze River, projects which are set to finish in 2020.