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China pledges more reform on tourism development

BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhua) -- China will carry out more reforms to boost investment and consumption in tourism industry, the State Council, or China's cabinet, decided on Wednesday.

Tourism development is significant in fostering the country's modern service sector, increasing employment and income, as well as improving people's livelihoods, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The meeting urged improving tourism consumption. Construction of regional airports, roads to scenic spots, parking lots and washrooms in destinations, especially in less-developed central and western China, should be supported, the statement said.

Personalized tourism products focusing on rural areas will be supported, the meeting decided. The government will encourage college graduates and migrant workers who have returned to home villages to start their own rural tourism businesses, as a way to alleviate rural poverty, the statement said.

New popular tourism consumption choices should be discovered and well utilized, the cabinet said. Internet-related business mode such as online vacation rentals and transport rentals, should be easier to enter. Various tourism products such as for the elders, and for studying purposes, should be developed. Governments at all levels should further implement the paid-leave system, the cabinet said.

The meeting agreed to promote public-private-partnerships (PPP) in developing tourism projects, with more government investment and individual capital participation. It also urged to widen financing channels for tourism enterprises, and encourage financial institutions to increase credit support for those enterprises.

Better and colorful tourism activities will enrich people's life, and also boost economic development, the statement said.

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