[SHANGHAI] Chinese investment in tourism will double to around 2 trillion yuan (S$420 billion) by 2020, the China National Tourism Administration said in a report late on Sunday, as the country looks to support its service sectors and tap consumer spending.
Tourism investment will hit 1.25 trillion yuan this year, the tourism body forecast in an annual report. Investment in the sector rose 42 per cent to top 1 trillion yuan in 2015, it said.
China is pinning hopes on areas like travel to propel growth amid signs of weaknesses in many key areas of the economy. Overall investment, factory output and retail sales all grew more slowly than expected in April.
Fast growth promises rewards for firms like travel agent Ctrip.com International Ltd, hotelier Shanghai Jinjiang International Travel, e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and developer Dalian Wanda Group.
"In the future we think tourism investment has huge potential with hot spots starting to spring up," the tourism body said. Online travel services, rural tourism, cruising and sports tourism were big investment areas, it added.
Investment from the private sector accounted for just over 57 per cent of money pumped into the sector last year, it said.