BEIJING (Reuters) - China aims to invest 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) in tourism by 2020 by attracting more private investment into the industry, China's state planner said on Wednesday.
Saying as tourism infrastructure and public services were "in dire need to be improved", the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it would plan a batch of key tourism projects and "proactively guide" social capital - a term China uses for private investment - to invest in the industry.
The figures were in a joint release from the NDRC and the China National Tourism Administration, in response to guidelines from the state cabinet to reform the tourism industry.
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China aims for the total sum of tourism services purchased in the country to reach 7 trillion yuan ($1 trillion) by 2020, with tourism contributing more than 10 percent of annual economic growth, the statement said.
The tourism industry is expected to employ 50 million people by 2020, which will account for more than 10 percent of total employment, it said.
China has been keen to develop and expand its services industry to offset the impact of persistently weak global demand for its exports.
($1 = 6.9046 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Nicholas Heath; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Kim Coghill)