BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- China's culture and tourism sectors are expected to gain momentum and recover, after the authorities have rolled out a string of favorable policies following an improvement in the COVID-19 epidemic situation, the Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily reported on Monday.
Chinese movie theaters in low-risk areas are allowed to resume operation starting from July 20, according to the China Film Administration, noting that these movie theaters should reopen on the premise that proper prevention and control measures have been put into place.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on July 14 that travel agencies in the country have been given permission to resume group tours that cross provincial borders, following a period of suspension due to the COVID-19 epidemic. However, group tours are still prohibited in those areas with middle and high COVID-19 risk levels.
The limit on the number of visitors allowed in tourist attractions will be set at 50 percent of the maximum capacity, an increase on the previous limit of 30 percent.
In addition to the policies to support the resumption, the ministry also urged acceleration of investment and construction of infrastructure projects involving rural tourism and implementation of tax and fee reduction policies to reduce business operating costs of the culture and tourism enterprises.
Following the policies unveiled by the central authorities, many local governments have also rolled out their measures to promote recovery in the culture and tourism sectors.
For example, the Department of Culture and Tourism in south China's Guangdong Province on Sunday issued a document to resume cross-provincial team tours and increase the reception capacity of the tourist attractions.
Southwest China's Guizhou Province said it will issue cultural tourism vouchers worth 10 million yuan (about 1.43 million U.S. dollars) to tourists inside and outside the province.
The intensive release of good news has injected a boost to the recovery of the culture and tourism industries.
As soon as the news of cross-provincial travel came out, the search volume of hotels and air tickets rose rapidly. Compared with that before the news, the search volume of the group and individual tours soared by 500 percent, according to data of China's largest online travel agency Trip.com Group, formerly known as Ctrip.
Industry insiders note that the culture and tourism industries, hit hard by the epidemic, are expected to get out of trouble. After the resumption of cross-provincial team tours, the suppressed travel demand is expected to be released, and tourism products such as scenic spots and hotels may usher in a new round of recovery. (Edited by Hu Pingchao with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)