Li says tourism push to help relieve poverty
Updated: 2016-05-20 02:34
By An Baijie(China Daily)
Premier Li Keqiang joins participants at the first World Conference on Tourism for Development, which opened on Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY
The Chinese government aims to help 12 million people out of poverty by boosting tourism in the next five years, Premier Li Keqiang announced on Thursday.
Li made the remark at the opening ceremony of the first World Conference on Tourism for Development, held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The conference, proposed by the Chinese government and jointly hosted with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, drew more than 600 representatives from 107 countries.
Most of China's poverty-stricken regions are in remote and mountainous areas, and such places have natural advantages for developing the tourism industry, Li said. He added that tourism is an important means for poverty reduction.
Tourism plays an important role in China's supply-side economic reform and the upgrade of China's industrial structure, and the government will develop tourism and protect the environment at the same time, he said.
The premier called on all countries to ease visa policies, simplify entry procedures and protect travelers' interests to boost tourism worldwide. China will carry out 50 tourism projects with international cooperation in the next five years to help the global economy recover, he said.
China is the largest tourism source market in the world, according to the China National Tourism Administration.
About 120 million Chinese traveled overseas last year and spent a total of 684 billion yuan ($104.5 billion), it said.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, who attended the ceremony, said, "China is a leader in tourism and a nation that knows exactly what tourism is able to do for economic and social development."
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