BEIJING: Tourism infrastructure in China is on course to receive a massive injection of two trillion yuan ($290bn) by 2020 as the authorities seek to increase private investment in the industry.
According to Reuters, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) jointly stated that they would plan a series of tourism projects and guide private investment towards them.
Tourism in China has huge market potential, yet tourism infrastructure and public services were "in dire need to be improved", the NDRC is reported to have said.
The overall aim is to increase the revenues generated by the Chinese tourism industry to seven trillion yuan ($1 trillion) by 2020, by when it is expected to employ 50m people and account for more than 10% of total employment.
The development serves as a reminder that the world's second-largest economy remains determined to rely less on manufacturing and to develop consumer services.
It also comes as updated figures from Australia provided further evidence of the huge growth in overseas spending made by Chinese travellers.
Speaking last week as he announced the results of the latest International Visitor Survey, Australian Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo said spending by Chinese visitors had exceeded growth targets by almost four years.
He said government initiatives to attract more Chinese tourists Down Under had been successful and that new policies aimed at further growth were now in place.
"Spending by Chinese tourists now exceeds A$6.75bn annually, which was the stretch target government and industry aimed to reach in the year 2020 as part of the Tourism 2020 strategy," he said, in comments reported by Xinhua.
"While this target was reached four years early and annual growth from the Chinese market now exceeds 20%, the Turnbull government is implementing policies to drive this growth further," he added.
Data sourced from Reuters, Xinhua; additional content by Warc staff