Holistic tourism development will be further promoted to offer visitors richer and safer travel experiences in highly regulated travel markets, according to a guideline released on Thursday by the State Council.
The guideline said tourism has been a new driver of China's economy, as it has seen rapid growth in the past few decades, but it still falls short of people's expectations because of irregularities in the travel market and lack of quality services. These require a more comprehensive and integrated campaign to secure high-quality travel experiences.
Holistic tourism tries to involve all areas of society in creating the best travel experience possible for visitors, drawing on governments, companies and residents.
Li Jinzao, vice-minister of culture and tourism, said holistic tourism development has been upgraded to a State-level strategy, which requires the tourism industry to push forward its supply-side reforms and transform its development pattern from resource-intensive to more efficient approaches.
Ecological protection is stressed in the development of holistic tourism. The financial returns and ecological benefits of developing tourist sites will be balanced to suit the local situations. Travel products and infrastructure construction with low energy consumption are encouraged.
Improving the quality of travel packages has been included in the four objectives of tourism industry development. The other three are integrating the travel industry, strengthening market oversight and maximizing the revenues generated by tourism.
The standards found in services - etiquette, for example - will be improved to regulate the behavior of people involved in the industry. Smart services systems, including free Wi-Fi, online reservations and payments and smart translation, will be built in travel destinations. Transportation infrastructure such as airports, highways and urban greenways will be improved, and public signs at travel destinations will be replaced with symbols conforming to national standards.
The "toilet revolution" campaign, which addresses an important part of visitors' travel experiences, will be further implemented at scenic spots and rural areas with financial and technological support. Family and unisex restrooms will be built at popular travel destinations and railway stations, according to the guideline.