For the purpose of further expanding the opening up of our country, developing and exploiting our country’s rich tourist resources, promoting the transformation of the sightseeing industry into a sightseeing and vacationing industry in our country, and expediting the development of tourism,
the State Council has decided to launch a pilot project for national tourist vacation areas in the places where the conditions are ripe, in which enterprises and/or individuals from abroad and/or Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau (hereinafter referred to as the foreign investors) are encouraged to invest in the development of tourist facilities and tourist businesses. A circular is hereby promulgated as follows:
1. National tourist vacation areas refer to comprehensive tourist areas established in conformity with international requirements for vacation tours and mainly open to overseas tourists. The areas shall be bounded clearly and shall be located in the places which are suitable for concentrating complete sets of tourist facilities, abundant with tourist vacation resources and source of tourists, convenient for communications and have relatively firm foundations of foreign relations.
2. The State encourages the development of tourism and treats it as a key industry for earning foreign exchange. National tourist vacation areas shall be granted the following preferential policies:
(1) The income tax on the enterprises with foreign investment established within the areas shall be levied at a reduced rate of twenty-four percent.
Among them, enterprises with foreign investment of a productive nature scheduled to operate for a period of not less than ten years shall, from the first year of beginning to make a profit, be exempted from income tax in the first and second years and allowed a fifty percent reduction in the third to fifth years.
(2) Building materials, production and management equipment, transportation equipment and office supplies imported for enterprise use and included in the total amount of investment by enterprises with foreign investment established within the areas, as well as settling-in articles and transportation equipment imported in reasonable quantities by foreign investors or technicians or other personnel residing in the areas, shall be exempted from customs duties and consolidated industrial and commercial taxes.
Raw materials, spare parts, components, fittings, auxiliary materials and packaging materials imported for the production of tourist export goods shall be treated as bonded goods by Customs.
(3) Machinery, equipment and other materials for capital construction required by the construction of infrastructure within vacation areas shall be exempted from customs duties and product taxes (or value-added taxes).
(4) Foreign exchange payment shops may be established within the areas. The examination and approval of these shops shall be handled according to the relevant State provisions.
(5) Tourist automobile companies with Chinese-made automobiles and in co-operation with foreign investors may be established within the areas.
Chinese-made automobiles purchased by the companies within a verified quantity shall be exempted from the horizontal supporting fees, surcharges for purchases of motor vehicles and extra consumption taxes.
Tourist automobile companies established by domestic enterprises within the areas may be treated in reference with the above-mentioned policies.
Such automobiles shall be used only by tourist automobile companies established within the areas, and shall not be transferred to others for sale. These policies shall be put into effect by the State Planning Commission in consultation with other relevant departments.
(6) Tourist agencies of Category 1 in co-operation with foreign investors may be established within the areas for overseas tourist services. The National Tourism Administration shall be in charge of the examination and administration of the tourist agencies.
(7) The development of land for the construction within the areas shall be handled according to the Interim Regulations of the People’s Republic of China Concerning the Assignment and Transfer of the Right to Use of State-Owned Land in the Urban Areas.
Fees for the assignment of land use rights shall, within five years from the approval date of the establishment of the areas, be reserved within the areas for the construction of infrastructure.
(8) Tourist foreign exchange earnings derived from the areas shall, within five years from the approval date of the establishment of the areas, be reserved in full as foreign exchange quotas for the sustained development of the areas.
3. Projects for tourist facilities built with foreign investment within national tourist vacation areas shall, if the amount of investment falls within the limit of powers for approval laid down by the State Council, be examined and decided by the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and cities separately listed under the national plan;
those of projects for tourist lodging facilities shall be submitted to the National Tourism Administration, the State Planning Commission and the Ministry of Economic Relations and Foreign Trade for the record.
If the amount of investment exceeds the limit of powers for approval laid down by the State Council, the projects shall be decided according to the relevant State provisions.
For enterprises established for projects of tourist lodging facilities built with foreign investment, their term of operation shall not exceed thirty years in principle.
4. The pilot project for national tourist vacation areas shall be submitted by local people’s governments to the State Council for examination and approval.
5. The pilot project for national tourist vacation areas is an important arrangement in order to deepen the reform, expand the opening of the tourist industry, change the structure of tourist products in our country, upgrade the tourist products and improve their competitive power in the international market.
Departments concerned under the State Council and local governments concerned shall make proper planning in real earnest and do a good job for this pilot project.
It’s inadvisable to establish too large-scale national tourist vacation areas in the opening stages. They should gradually develop from small to large.