With a total revenue reaching 100 billion yuan in 2012, or 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), tourism is expected to become a pillar industry in Jilin province over the next four years, Jilin Governor Han Changfu said at a conference on Jilin's tourism development recently held in Changchun, capital of the province in northeast China.
Minister of the National Tourism Administration Shao Qiwei, Secretary of the Jilin Committee of the Communist Party of China Wang Min and other high-ranking local officials attended the conference.
Han said during recent years, Jilin has witnessed rapid economic development, with its GDP growth ranking second in the nation for two and a half years.
To revitalize the old industrial base in Jilin and promote its overall economic development, the provincial government made a decision in 2006 to build tourism into one of the pillar industries in Jilin.
Han revealed the timetable for realizing this goal. In 2011, the province is expected to receive 1 million overseas tourists and 50 million domestic tourists, and generate tourism revenues of 87 billion yuan. In 2012, the revenue will reach 100 billion yuan, accounting for 10 percent of GDP.
The province's unique attractions include the dense forests and grand gorges of the Changbai Mountains, the rime in Jilin City, the wetlands in the west and the rich ethnic cultures belonging to the Korean, Mongolian and Manchu peoples.
Despite the rich tourism resources, however, the development of the sector in Jilin still lags behind other provinces with strong tourism industries, Han noted.
For example, Han said, the province lacks comprehensive planning for the development of the province's many tourism resorts.
In addition, the construction of tourism facilities should be strengthened. Also, the province still needs to enhance efforts to promote and publicize its many tourism attractions, making them better known to tourists at home and abroad.
The governor said Jilin welcomes domestic and overseas companies to cooperate with local businesses and make investment in the sector.
He said the province will also promote a number of top tourism destinations as an effective way to step up the development of the sector.
For example, the Changbai Mountains are a symbol of Jilin's tourism industry and one of the 10 most famous mountains in China. The province will guide more investments to the area to improve its facilities and further promote the area to the world.
In addition, the winter tour featuring leisure sport activities like skiing will be another focus of Jilin's tourism development.
Minister of National Tourism Administration Shao Qiwei said the State tourism authority will give full support to the development of Jilin's tourism industry.
During the tourism conference, the administration and Jilin provincial government signed an agreement to set up a joint work committee, which will convene once a year to offer advice on how to develop Jilin's tourism industry.
(China Daily October 22, 2008)