The Commerce Committee of Guangzhou city in Guangdong province has chosen nine areas for the integrated development of business, tourism and culture, with the aim of building up three to five landmark complexes by 2020, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.

The nine areas revolve around the Canton Tower, Beijing Road, Tianhe Road and other commercial circles and cultural relics. By developing the business-tourism-culture complexes, total retail sales are expected to reach 1.16 trillion yuan (US$170 billion), with the cultural industry output surpassing 190 billion yuan by 2020.

The city has also submitted an application to the State Council for the 144-hour Transit Visa Exemption program, which allows tourists holding third-country visas and plane tickets to enter Guangzhou without visas for 144 hours.

According to Tan Aiying, deputy director of Guangzhou Tourism Bureau, the city welcomed 185 million tourists in 2016. Revenue from tourism reached 321.7 billion yuan, with US$6.3 billion in foreign exchange earnings.

The planned complexes are expected to boost tourism revenue to 500 billion yuan, while receiving 250 million tourists by 2020.