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Chinese government looks to tourism to lift consumption

[BEIJING] China is seeking to promote tourism and lift domestic spending with measures ranging from boosting investment in tourism spots to encouraging companies to give employees paid leave, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

Regulations for holiday car rentals and other tourism businesses will be relaxed, and banks will be encouraged to extend more loans to tourism firms, the State Council said after a weekly meeting.

Retirees and researchers will also be encouraged to travel more, the cabinet said, without giving details.

Squeezed by slackening growth in exports, investment and domestic spending, China's stuttering economy is this year widely expected to log its slowest growth in a quarter of a century, with expansion of 7 per cent.

The government has identified tourism as a growth area, in a bid to energise domestic spending. It aims to more than double domestic tourism spending to 5.5 trillion yuan by 2020, compared to 2013.

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