The State Council, in a circular on Jan 20, announced a development plan for the tourism sector during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).
By 2025, China will have a stronger modern system for the tourism sector integrating cultural development and boasting an improved barrier-free environment and services. By 2035, the country aims to become a world tourism powerhouse, with a wider variety of tourist hot spots, including national cultural parks, world-class tourist attractions and resorts, and State-level cities and blocks serving tourism and leisure.
Modern tourism requires supply-side structural reform, high-quality tourism products, and integration with other industries, the circular said.
It involves promoting smart tourism with digital, networked and intelligent scenarios and expanding the application of new technologies in tourism.
To incorporate tourism into major regional strategies and coordinated development, the circular urged efforts to harness the four national cultural parks covering the Great Wall, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the route of the Long March and the Yellow River, and the Silk Road tourism belt, among others, to blaze new travel trails across China.
Other efforts include building world-class tourism cities such as Guilin to drive regional tourism and encouraging more cities to list tourism and leisure as basic urban functions.
Tourism development, the circular said, should pursue harmonious co-existence with nature in steadily building national cultural parks and national parks, protecting historical resources, based on general surveys of Chinese cultural resources, and natural resources.
National cultural parks, it added, should seek to highlight the unique creations, values and distinctive characteristics of the Chinese culture.
To advance mass tourism and consumption, preferential policies, services, and public infrastructure should keep up with emerging development patterns such as contactless tourism and consumption.
A modern tourism governance system should be in place for handling tourist complaints to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, emergency responses, as well as prevention and control of major risks from disasters and accidents.
The plan maps out promoting inbound and outbound travel in an orderly, steady manner, on the premise that the global COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control. With epidemic prevention and control prioritized, entries to China should be subject to real-name reservation of tickets, and inbound travel by cruise ship and self-driving tours should be facilitated with easier customs clearance.
Cooperation with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and international collaboration in the tourism industry are also stressed.