XI'AN, March 10 (Xinhua) -- As China gradually re-opens tourist sites in low-risk outbreak regions amid the epidemic, Xi'an, a popular destination in northwest China's Shaanxi province, is promoting its cultural tourism industry with new policies.
According to a plan recently launched by the municipal government of Xi'an, the city will invest 13.7 billion yuan (about 1.97 billion U.S. dollars) for 23 cultural tourism programs this year.
It also plans to further develop a stay-at-home economy such as creative design, game and anime industry and e-sports as part of the cultural tourism industry.
Capital of 13 dynasties in ancient China, Xi'an is a historic city with rich tourism resources. It received more than 300 million tourists in 2019, and its total tourism revenue surpassed 310 billion yuan (about 44.6 billion U.S. dollars).
"As the number of COVID-19 patients in China is declining, people are eager to go outside and travel. The new policies give us the confidence to offer better services to the tourists,” said Yao Xinyuan, executive director of Shaanxi Huaqing Palace Cultural Tourism Co., Ltd.
Yao said his company is developing sightseeing tours online and improving digitalized service. The new policies would play an important role in the innovative development of the tourism industry.
Before the announcement of the new policies, some tourist attractions in Xi'an have reopened to the public, including one of the most well-preserved ancient city walls in China.
Catering to the taste of tourists, rehearsals of several performances in the city have been started online, including the famous "Song of Eternal Sorrow," which tells the love story between the emperor Tang Xuanzong and his favorite concubine Yang Kwei Fei.
The Chinese government has rolled out measures, including tax reduction and project financing, to support the country's cultural tourism industry amid the epidemic.
The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, has allocated 5.7 billion yuan (about 814 million U.S. dollars) for the construction of 485 projects in the sector.