In an effort to boost the country’s tourism industry, the government of China has unveiled a long-term plan that aims to give employees more time off, open up museums and parks for free, protect valuable forest lands and develop tourism packages for seniors, women, children and the disabled.
Among the most important goals over the next seven years? To give hardworking Chinese employees enough time off to enjoy the new domestic tourism measures, says The Outline for National Tourism and Leisure 2013-2020.
According to a recent survey by Hotels.com, for instance, China ranked 28th out of 30 countries for having the least amount of vacation time: between public holidays and annual leave, the country gets 16 days off, marginally better than Canada where employees get 15 days off, and Mexico which gets 13.
While the number of public holidays will remain the same, the report says they will encourage employers to be more flexible about annual paid leave and step up supervision and legal aid to protect workers’ rights.
Other priorities include opening up public museums, memorial halls, and city parks for free, while lowering the ticket prices for other attractions and offering special reductions to minors, college students, teachers, seniors, servicemen and the disabled.
The campaign also proposes to build a strong tourism infrastructure which will support the development of budget motels, family inns, ports for cruise liners and yachts, and camps for motor homes.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, China’s tourism industry contributes 13 percent more to the country’s overall GDP compared to the automotive manufacturing sector, at 1.2 trillion CNY. The industry is also projected to grow by more than 9 percent over the next 10 years.