On 28 November 2016, the General Office of the State Council released the Opinion on Further Expanding the Consumption in the Area of Tourism, Culture, Sports, Health, Old-age Care, Education and Training (the “Opinion”), which gave the directions on further expanding the service consumption.
The Opinion focuses on the following three aspects to expand consumption, namely (1) the broad leisure industry, including, for example, health sector, old-age care sector, culture, sports; (2) the commodity distribution, such as automobile sale and environment-friendly products sale; and (3) improvement of distribution network and service quality.
In particular, expansion of consumption in the broad leisure-health industry was emphasised in the Opinion. The following policies, inter alia, were mentioned in this aspect:
1. 90 state-level pilot areas for combing hospital and beadhouse will be built in two batches. In these areas, innovative management and service modes for combing hospital and beadhouse will be developed and promoted.
2. The medical tourism is promoted. State-level medical tourism model bases will be built and polices will be published to support the medical tourism in pilot areas.
3. The requirements for establishment of beadhouses will be loosened and some pre-approvals for establishment of beadhouses will be abolished.
4. Idle resources can be used for establishment of beadhouses. The abandoned plants, public-held training centers and public-held nursing home can be transformed to buildings for beadhouses.
5. The National Tourism Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Development and Reform Commission shall, according to their respective duties, study and publish the policies to support the agriculture for leisure purpose and agriculture planning.
6. The registration of caravan will be started and the registered caravans will be permitted to drive on road in case of being dragged by small vehicles with dragging installations. The policies on caravan camping site will also be published. The Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Land and Resources and the National tourism Administration will be responsible for this.
7. The general plan on cruise tour will be published. The formalities on customs clearance in cruise tour will be simplified and enterprises are encouraged to explore domestic and international routes. The visa-free policy will be extended from Shanghai to other port cities in China.
8. The guideline on yacht tour will be published. It is planned to build 50 to 80 public yacht harbours or water sports centers. The yacht leasing business will be open for trial.
9. The plan on developing winter sports, mountain outdoor sports, water sports and air sports will be formulated by the General Administration of Sport, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information according to their respective duties.
The Opinion only gives the direction on services consumption. It can be envisaged that in the coming years, the Chinese authorities, at state level or local level, will jointly or individually publish the rules on these preferentially developed areas mentioned in the Opinion.