China's capital will spend 1 billion yuan (about US$147 million) to build new tourist attractions over the next two years, Deng Minshan, chief of the economic and trade section of the municipal development and reform commission, said on Monday.
Existing tourist zones, including those based on traditional culture, modern entertainment and nature, will be upgraded, he said.
Tourism generates 7 percent of the city's gross domestic product.
The city now has 826 star-rated hotels, ranking first in China.
From 2001 to 2007, overseas tourist arrivals rose a cumulative 52 percent. Beijing hosted 4.36 million overseas tourists last year, from whom it took in US$4.58 billion.
During that period, the city saw gains of 30 percent and 98 percent in domestic tourist arrivals and related revenue, respectively. It hosted 143 million domestic tourists and netted 175.4 billion yuan last year.
The city hopes for 400 billion yuan in total tourism revenue in 2012, which would be almost double its revenue for 2007. Beijing also aims for average growth of 7 percent for overseas tourism and 5 percent for domestic tourism in the next four years.
By 2012, overseas tourist arrivals could total 6.1 million, and they are projected to spend US$7.5 billion. Domestic tourist arrivals will amount to 183 million, generating 350 billion yuan.
(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2008)