Hainan designated as pilot area for environment-friendly tourism industry
Guilin is one of China’s most a popular tourist destination renowned for its unique scenery of karst topography. While Guilin has nothing to prove anymore domestically, it still needs to expand its international flights and seek favorable visa policies from the central government to become more of an international tourist destination, explained a few weeks ago Huang Junhua, city mayor.
"The city now has only five direct international flights and most tourists have to transit via Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Hong Kong, Mayor Huang Junhua highlighted despite the fact that Guilin now receives 1.9 million overseas tourists per year. The city plans now to expand its airport to make it easier for foreign tourists to visit the city in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region."
The mayor said that Guilin is also striving to give foreign tourists visas upon arrival, but the central government is still considering the request, and "details of the policy still need more discussion". Guilin was endorsed by the National Development and Reform Commission, China's economic planner, in November. Thanks to the approval, favorable tourism policies will be implemented for Guilin's development.
Wang Wei, director of the social development department of the National Development and Reform Commission, declared to the China Daily that special policies will be applied to Guilin to support its development.
So far, the NDRC has approved Hainan and Yunnan provinces as well as Guilin as three reform pilot areas, aiming to explore a way to develop the environment-friendly tourism industry instead of developing polluting industries. While Hainan is turning increasingly into a duty free paradise, Guilin hopes that special policies reform will help pushing tourism to generate 20 percent of Guilin GDP by 2015, up from the current 18.1 percent. Today, some 200,000 people work in the city's tourism sector.
SOURCE: Travel Daily News
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