State Council Issues the 13th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Tourism Industry

The State Council has recently issued the 13th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Tourism Industry which is signed and approved by Premier Li Keqiang. The Plan lays down the general approach, basic goals, key tasks and support measures to develop the tourism industry during the 13th Five-Year Plan period and is the action program and basic guideline for China's tourism development for the next five years.

The Plan specifies that we shall firmly foster and earnestly implement development concepts of innovation, coordination, green development, opening up and sharing, uphold themes of transformation, upgrade, and quality and efficiency enhancement, center on the promotion of holistic tourism development, speed up to advance the structural reform of the supply side, strive to build China into a all-round moderately prosperous power in tourism, foster the tourism industry into an important engine for economic transformation and upgrade, a leading industry for ecological construction, a major vehicle for showcasing national strength, a backbone force for fighting poverty, and contribute significantly to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the fulfillment of the Chinese dream.

The Plan sets four major goals for tourism development in China during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. First, steady growth of the tourism economy. The number of travels made by urban and rural residents shall grow around 10% per year, the total tourism revenue by more than 11%, and the direct investment in tourism by more than 14%. By 2020, the tourism market will grow to accommodate at least 6.7 billion travels, with the total tourism investment hitting RMB 2 trillion and the total tourism revenue RMB 7 trillion. Second, significant increase in comprehensive benefits. The comprehensive contribution made by the tourism industry to the national economy shall exceed 12%. Third, a higher degree of public satisfaction about the tourism industry. Tourist transportation shall be more convenient, public services for tourists more considerate, the paid-leave system promoted, the market order improved remarkably, the idea of civilized tourism deeply rooted and widely practiced, tourism environment more beautiful and the Toilet Revolution more fruitful. Fourth, remarkable growth in international influence. The inbound tourism market shall continue to grow, the outbound tourism market maintain its healthy growth, and China's gap with developed tourist destinations be narrowed significantly.

The Plan demands comprehensive implementation of tasks to pursue innovation-driven, coordinated, green, opening, collaborative tourism development featuring co-construction and sharing. First, we shall highlight innovation in ideas, products, business forms, technologies and market players, promote the construction of boutique scenic zones, accelerate the development of leisure and vacation products, vigorously develop rural tourism, elevate the development level of red tourism, accelerate the development of self-drive and caravan tours, vigorously develop maritime and waterside tours, actively develop ice and snow tours and accelerate the cultivation of low-altitude tours. Second, we shall optimize the spatial distribution of the tourism industry, strengthen the five cross-regional tourist city clusters, foster 20 cross-regional specialty tourism functional zones, build 10 national boutique tourism belts, develop 25 national scenic routes and promote the construction of specialty tourist destinations in eight major categories. Third, we shall reinforce transport infrastructure construction, improve the public service system for tourists such as information services, and facilitate the update and upgrade of industrial factors of the tourism industry. Fourth, we shall advocate green tourism consumption at the consumption end and stress green development, energy conservation and emission reduction at the supply end. Fifth, we shall construct a new opening-up landscape of the tourism industry, adopt the active tourism diplomacy strategy, and further open up the tourism industry in terms of both width and depth. Sixth, we shall vigorously launch the poverty alleviation through rural tourism project, promote the tourism industry to create jobs and startup opportunities, regulate the tourism market, vigorously promote civilized tourism, construct a tourism safety network, carry out the tourist service improvement plan, and create a civilized, safe, convenient, comfortable, and efficient tourism environment.

The Plan also lists measures to reform the comprehensive management system for the tourism industry, optimize the tourist service management in scenic zones, and reform the tour guide and travel agency system, and makes it clear to strengthen policy support, rule of law and team building. It also demands local governments to formulate specific implementation plans or purpose-specific plans in light of their local conditions, and fulfill their responsibilities; all departments concerned shall divide labor according to their respective responsibilities, strengthen coordination and cooperation and seize every minute to advance related work.

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