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China Focus: Leisure industry to drive economic development in post-pandemic era

Abstract : The prospects of the global leisure industry were extensively discussed by experts and officials at the six-day Pinggu World Leisure Conference that concluded Wednesday in the Pinggu District of Beijing.

Visitors view touring cars at the Beijing Pinggu World Leisure Conference in Pinggu District of Beijing, capital of China, April 16, 2021. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) — The prospects of the global leisure industry were extensively discussed by experts and officials at the six-day Pinggu World Leisure Conference that concluded Wednesday in the Pinggu District of Beijing.

COVID-19 has brought about challenges to the development prospects of the industry globally. Providing more diversified options and services for recreation is important for economic development and quality of life, according to participants of the conference.

“The leisure industry matters. A leisurely and healthy lifestyle not only concerns the quality of people’s lives but also promotes all-round development,” said Ou Xiaoli, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The comprehensive development of the leisure industry is not only important for a strong domestic market, but also for transforming the economic development model and growth drivers as well as promoting high-quality development and high-quality life, he added.

“The disposable incomes of Chinese residents have increased. People’s consumption structure has upgraded and their consumption concept has gradually changed, so the demand for tourism and leisure is growing,” said Hu Heping, minister of culture and tourism.


Due to the impact of COVID-19, the development of the leisure industry globally has suffered a heavy blow, thus needing a fresh start. China’s leisure industry also requires a new start.

An industry development report involving the leisure sector released at the conference showed that affected by the pandemic, people’s preferences have shifted to online leisure products and they value their time with family and friends more. Such new trends are likely to continue even after the pandemic.

The leisure industry has also become an important platform for the application of new technologies.

“Digital technology will help the leisure industry break restrictions, connect people, things and spaces, and integrate resources,” said Liu Zhenfei, president of Amap, a navigation service provider.

According to the participants at the conference, the coordinated development of the global leisure industry is more urgent and imperative at the present juncture.

Photo taken on April 14, 2021 shows a homestay in Huangyaguan Village of north China’ s Tianjin Municipality. In recent years, more and more Chinese people living in cities prefer to go to the countryside for leisure and relaxation, which facilitates the development of rural tourism. (Xinhua/Zhao Zishuo)

With large-scale vaccination, there will be more passenger flows between regions and countries. Governments, enterprises and industry organizations should give full play to their advantages to jointly promote the development of the leisure industry, the participants noted.

Joanne Schroeder, chair of the World Leisure Organization board, said that they would like to deepen exchanges with Beijing, support the establishment of the World Leisure Organization’s regional headquarters in the city and jointly promote the vigorous development of leisure tourism.


However, some weaknesses are still plaguing China’s leisure industry.

“Some young people think that leisure is based on money,” said Shan Jixiang, former curator of the Palace Museum. “Leisure has something to do with money, but it’s not absolute. People should pay more attention to cultural consumption in their leisure time for spiritual pleasure and experience.”

In addition, there are some problems in the development of the leisure industry, such as the development of famous brands, the in-depth development of leisure-related products, the construction of recreational facilities and the cultivation of high-quality talent.

Experts suggest that the development of the leisure industry should be promoted by improving the level of leisure services and paying attention to the cultivation of high-end leisure industry talent.

“The NDRC will continue to work closely with relevant departments to improve recreational spaces, facilities, products and services so that people can enjoy a more fulfilling, richer and higher-quality leisure life,” said Ou. Enditem

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Source: China Focus: Leisure industry to drive economic development in post-pandemic era

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