China's State Council announced new plans and guidelines that are aimed at promoting the development of the tourism industry over the next five years. This is an attempt to improve the employment rate in the country since the tourism sector consumes fewer resources while generating job openings. The government is hoping that tourism will become a leader industry in the national economy.

This should not be too difficult of a task for China if executed properly. The country offers a large historical and cultural heritage. This is something that needs to be promoted more to attract more tourists. Furthermore, there is the need for an improved tourism infrastructure as well as training of personnel in the industry. Moreover, it is important that there is collaboration between the tourism sector and the relative industries - culture, sports, environmental protection, etc.

Some of the guidelines that the Chinese government has provided include encouraging overseas investment in order to open the domestic tourism market to foreign companies. Also, government departments are required to simplify the procedures for approval of tourism enterprises which will help the development of small and medium-sized ones in China.

The goal of the project is to create 500,000 jobs annually increasing revenue by 12%. Furthermore, the industry is projected to account for 4.5% of the country's GDP by 2015 with a 10% increase in tourists.

Are these projections reasonable? Yes, China has the resources to further develop its tourism industry and there are results already. China's southeastern city Wenzhou signed an agreement with Italy's southern city Naples to improve bilateral cooperation in tourism and culture. The agreement will allow for more opportunities such as tourism for pleasure, business, or study.

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