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Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism issues 3-year plan to boost domestic travel

By Qi Xijia| Global Times| Updated: November 15, 2023 L M S

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday issued a three-year plan to boost domestic tourism in a latest move to stimulate tourism related spending and spur economic growth.

According to the plan, domestic tourism aims to achieve a steady growth in size by 2025, while simultaneously improving its overall quality.

The plan includes initiatives to enhance domestic tourism, offer high-quality travel options, enhance the overall travel experience, and elevate the quality of public services in the tourism sector.

The nation will establish May 19 as China Tourism Day and optimize the innovative and characteristic travel products to target various groups, setting up innovative routes for students, elderly people, winter tourism, cruise trips, adventurous tours and city walks. It will also integrate tourism with other industries and promote deep integration between tourism and culture, sports, agriculture, transportation, commerce, and aerospace.

The plan will also enhance financial support for tourism industry. As part of the tourism consumption plan it encourages collaboration between local authorities, China UnionPay, banks, and platform companies to offer discounts, ticket promotions, and loyalty point redemption schemes for tourism related consumption. The plan is also providing support to enhance tourism infrastructure across the country and encourage financial institutions to tailor their services to the unique needs of tourism businesses and offer diverse credit products that will boost tourism infrastructure development.

The plan is expected to further unleash consumption potential and promote the high quality development of the tourism industry, insiders said.

Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of China Spring Tour, told the Global Times that with specific and targeted plans in place, tourism enterprises are gaining confidence and receiving clear directions in terms of development goals, promotional strategies, new business models, and enhancing travel experiences.

So far, China Spring Tours has launched over 1,000 travel products for 2024, especially during the Chinese New Year. Specialized products include travel packages that cover the Chinese New Year Eve dinner, accommodation, and city walks to meet the demand for family gatherings and reunions, as well as long-distance trips for skiing and seaside experiences.

The Tongcheng Research Institute told the Global Times that the new tourism scenarios mentioned by the plan will play a vital role in lifting the high quality development of the tourism industry from the supply end. 

Tongcheng Travel has also been exploring new business models such as combining travel with e-sports, markets, and music to engage young travelers with fresh ideas and experiences.

According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the total number of domestic tourist trips in China reached 3.674 billion in the first three quarters of 2023, an increase of 1.58 billion compared to the same period last year, representing a year-on-year growth of 75.5 percent. 

Total spending of domestic tourists reached 3.69 trillion yuan ($505 billion) in the first three quarters, an increase of 1.97 trillion yuan compared to the previous year, equal to a growth rate of 114.4 percent.

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