China said it will boost investment in tourism, with plans to develop rustbelt regions and upgrade public toilets high on its to-do list as it looks to lift the sector’s contribution to economic growth.
Announcing a new plan for the sector, China said it aims to invest 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) in tourism between 2016 and 2020 which would translate to annual growth of more than 14 percent in direct investment in the industry.
Old industrial and resource-dependent cities, particularly in the north of the country, will be encouraged to develop tourism and the government has promised to set up “demonstration tourist bases” in those areas. Several depleted coal cities have already made efforts to turn defunct mines into parks.
The plan also promised a “toilet revolution”, prompted by wide-spread complaints about toilet hygiene levels at China’s tourist spots and said the country would aim to build or renovate as many as 100,000 public toilets over the period.