China aims to double domestic spending on tourism by 2020 by offering financial and other support to develop the sector, the government said on Thursday, as it seeks to boost spending at home to spur economic growth.
China, home to wonders like the Great Wall and Forbidden City, has seen an explosion in tourist numbers in recent years, both domestic and foreign, but infrastructure has struggled to keep up.
Chinese media regularly reports on popular sites being overwhelmed during peak seasons, and conservationists have criticized the government for poor planning, including the destruction of large parts of Beijing's historic old city.
The new guidelines seek to bring some order to this chaos, and get Chinese people to spend more of their money at home, as the government tries to shift its economic model away from simply relying on exports and investment for growth.
By 2020, the government is aiming for spending on domestic tourism to reach 5.5 trillion yuan ($894 billion), more than double the 2013 figure of 2.6 trillion yuan, with tourism accounting for more than five percent of GDP.
The plan, released on the central government's website (www.gov.cn), also aims for Chinese citizens to take an average of 4.5 holidays a year - it does not specify whether at home or abroad - up from an average of 2.5 for 2013.