Top 10 China Tourism News of 2017
1. Chinese President Xi Jinping Gives Instructions on the Toilet Revolution and Tourism Development
On November 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping again gave instructions on how to promote the Toilet Revolution in the tourism industry: In the past couple of years, while advancing the Toilet Revolution, the Chinese tourism industry has demonstrated the down-to-earth attitude towards addressing practical issues. The tourism industry is a sunrise industry. We should keep improving the soft and hard environment for tourism development as we are doing with the Toilet Revolution. Toilet improvement is not a triviality, but key to the improvement of urban and rural environment. It should not be limited to scenic zones or urban areas, but should also be extended to rural areas as part of the efforts to revitalize the rural economy and improve rural living conditions. President Xi also stressed the need to produce substantial benefits and avoid formalism and luxury projects as well as the importance of post-construction management. Since 2015, the tourism industry has been advancing the Toilet Revolution in earnest accordance with the above instructions. So far, a total of 68,000 tourist toilets have been built or renovated, beating the three-year goal (57,000) by 19.3%.
2. China Initiates the World Tourism Alliance
The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) was founded on September 12, whose opening received a congratulatory message from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and was witnessed by 137 tourism ministers and their deputies as well as the heads of 41 international organizations. The WTA, initiated by the Chinese government, is the world’s first global, non-governmental and non-profit tourism organization. On December 17, the WTA signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Provincial People’s Government of Zhejiang, declaring to base its headquarters in Xiaoshan, Hangzhou.
3. Integrated Tourism in Full Swing
Chinese President Xi Jinping once remarked, “We are right in the direction of integrated tourism development and let’s keep going.” In the government work report delivered on March 5, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed to “improve tourism facilities and services and vigorously develop rural tours, leisure tours and integrated tourism.” So far, China has more than 500 demonstration units in integrated tourism development, distributed across 31 Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. Hainan, Ningxia, Shandong, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Hebei and Zhejiang have been successively recognized as provincial-level demonstration units in integrated tourism development.
4. With 25 Provincial Commissions on Tourism Development Established, the Institutional Reform Kicks off in the Tourism Industry
Active efforts have been made across China to reform the tourism administration and governance mechanisms in order to adapt to the latest changes in the integrated development and governance of tourism. On December 15, Chongqing established the municipal commission on tourism development. By then, a total of 25 Chinese provinces/autonomous regions/municipalities directly under the central government had had their own commissions on tourism development. In particular in Jiangxi, a three-tiered tourism governance system has been established, comprising provincial, municipal and county-level commissions on tourism development. Besides, a large number of cities and counties have set up their own tourist police, circuit courts for tourists and tourism branches of industry & commerce bureaus, making breakthroughs in the integrated institutional reform of the tourism industry.
5. As the Supply-side Structural Reform Advances, “Tourism +” Rises as the New Mode for Inter-Sector Development
On May 19, China announced her top 10 bases for technology tourism. Meanwhile, wetland tourism, TCM tourism, sports tourism, ice & snow tourism, industrial tourism, forest tourism and study tours have all been flourishing.
6. Poverty Alleviation through Tourism Development Further Promoted
On November 1 and 9, CNTA hosted a work conference on poverty alleviation through tourism development targeting at destitute areas in Southwest and Northwest China respectively, laying down action plans and launching projects of product development, training, communication, and the construction of demonstration areas. In 2017, more than 1,500 pioneers in rural tourism development, village officials and community-level tourism officials received training on poverty reduction through tourism development, and the Agricultural Development Bank of China and CITIC increased financial support in this regard.
7. Regulatory Trade Operations Keep the Tourism Market in Good Order
On February 23, CNTA co-launched the “Spring Operation” with the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce to administer the order of the tourism market. It was followed by the “Summer Vocation Operation” and the “Fall-and-Winter Operation” aimed at cracking down on “unreasonably low priced tours” and “the operation of unlicensed travel business.” Throughout the year, a total of 48,658 tourism companies were inspected, 2,595 cases were filed and penalties and forfeiture worth over RMB30 million issued.
8. Inbound Tourism Rebounds
On September 28, China Tourism Academy released the Annual Report on Inbound Tourism in China 2017. According to the report, China’s inbound tourism experienced comprehensive recovery in 2016, with the number of inbound tourists and the consumption expenditure both continuing to grow. In particular, the number of inbound tourists grew up by 8.3% from the previous year, the highest since the outbreak of the last international financial crisis. The number of inbound tourists is expected to hit 139 million in 2017, keeping the growth momentum.
9. The Tourism Industry Promotes Green Development and Environmental Protection in China
On April 24, CNTA and the Ministry of Environmental Protection co-launched the annual campaign of nominating national eco-tour demonstration zones. Since the nomination was initiated in 2013, the two have co-announced 110 national eco-tour demonstration zones. The tourism industry has played a big role in China’s environmental improvement.
10. Red Tourism Gains Popularity, Benefiting Local Residents
On November 10, China Red Tourism Promotion Alliance was established, serving as a platform for deepening the exchange and cooperation between red tourism zones. The year of 2017 marked the 96th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army and witnessed the 19th CPC National Congress. These historic events have fueled up the popularity of red tourism. For the 109 classic red tourism zones and 18 key cities for red tourism covered in the statistical survey, the number of visitors is expected to hit 750 million. Red tours allow people to reminisce the revolutionary years and remember revolutionary martyrs.