planned investment this year in the rural tourism sector
Financial support will be given to small and medium-sized travel agencies and villages are encouraged to cooperate with online providers of travel services to more easily attract customers.
The document predicted that 2.5 billion trips will be made to the countryside while travelers will spend as much as 1.4 trillion yuan in rural tourism sites this year. About 9 million families in rural areas will benefit.
The plan will see the building of 1,000 key villages and 1,000 people in developing rural tourism.
The past few years have seen a soaring growth in rural tourism revenues in the country as an increasing number of urban residents seek to visit rural areas.
Procurement procedures change
Maximum purchase prices will replace minimum prices for government procurements, the Ministry of Finance said in a revised regulation.
Revised management rules for government procurements and bidding for services require governmental purchasers to formulate reasonable plans before making purchases.
They should carefully evaluate prices based on market research, considering technologies, services, product supplies and prices.
Purchasers are allowed to set maximum purchase prices rather than the minimum prices within the quota of purchasing budgets, the new regulation stipulated.
Highways lead tourism drive
Six departments, including the Ministry of Transport and the National Tourism Administration, jointly released a guideline last Tuesday to promote integrated development of transportation and tourism.
Tourism-related services and facilities, such as resting and entertainment areas, ticketing, travel information sharing, parking lots and charging stations for new energy vehicles, will be established in highway service areas, according to the document.
The guideline also encouraged bettermarked and more accessible entrances and exits along expressways to facilitate travelers to go to popular scenic areas nearby.