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China's leisure industry attracts huge investments in 2011

(People's Daily Online)

16:06, July 02, 2012

China’s leisure consumption reached nearly 2.9 trillion yuan in 2011, accounting for over 15 percent of the country’s total retail sales of social consumer goods and over 6 percent of its gross domestic product, according to the 2012 China Leisure Industry Development Report compiled by the National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences at the request of the China National Tourism Administration’s Comprehensive Coordination Department.

According to the report, China has gradually shifted its strategic focus to improving the people's livelihood, and introduced a series of policies for promoting domestic leisure industry in 2011 and 2012.

With strong policy support, the country’s leisure industry is taking a new capital-and-technology-driven path featuring endogenous transformation, institutional growth, and sustainable development. As the income of the Chinese people grows, their leisure demand has become diversified, and their leisure consumption keeps hitting new highs.

China’s leisure industry saw an overall improvement in its development environment in 2011 thanks to the efforts of the China National Tourism Administration and other governmental agencies. The administration started compiling the Guidelines on Travel and Leisure in China in 2010, and has completed a draft version.

The provincial governments of Shandong, Zhejiang, and Guangdong have also developed and implemented plans for promoting their leisure industry, and many other local governments have followed suit. The successful “Let’s Play in Friendly Shandong” event held from August to October across the province last year was a bold attempt and useful exploration by the Shandong provincial government.

The report showed that a major phenomenon in the leisure industry last year was that the industry became an investment hotspot.

Many investors have shifted their focus to culture, tourism, sports, and other leisure-related areas, and it has been common to see an investment of more than 10 billion yuan in the leisure industry.

Overall, investments in the industry have been growing rapidly. Local private investors are particularly interested in this field, with their total investments surpassing 1 trillion yuan.

Domestic leisure service providers such as the China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation, Evergrande Group, HNA Group, Wanda Group, Poly Culture Group Corporation, Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, and Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, which used to operate in different areas, are moving toward business integration, and seeking to build the whole industry chain centered on leisure consumption.

The steady increase in the people’s income has contributed to sustained growth in the consumption of tourism, cultural entertainment, sports, and other leisure-related goods and services, creating one new leisure mode after another.

Each new leisure mode means a new production mode and supply system as well as a large number of potential customers.

The continued emergence of new leisure modes reflects people’s ever-increasing desire for new leisure concepts and more opportunities for social interaction, the report said.

Read the Chinese version at: 万亿投资托起休闲大产业, Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, Author: Cui Peng

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