The Government will pump $18 billion into the tourist industry over the next five years to help revive the sagging economy. Unveiling 'Tourism Hong Kong', a master plan for the industry's future, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said yesterday he was confident new jobs would be created as visitor numbers increased. The plan focuses on projects in five key areas: Kowloon, Central, Hong Kong South, North Lantau and Sai Kung. 'Last year we had 13 million visitors. The whole tourism industry provides jobs for 330,000 people. If we can increase the number of visitors to, for instance, 17 million, 21 million, the number of jobs available will go up quite rapidly,' he said. Highlighting tourism's significance to the SAR, Mr Tung said: 'I just took a helicopter tour. Hong Kong is such a beautiful city, we have mountains and sea. There's a lot more trees now. 'Tourism is one of our strong sectors. We need to push its development to new heights to lure more tourists and provide more attractions for our own people.' Tourism Hong Kong's main projects will include: Developing an 'arts and culture belt' between West Kowloon and the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront; Turning the area around Lan Kwai Fong and Hollywood Road in Central into a cultural and historical district, and enhancing its reputation for dining; Promoting Lantau Island as a tourist destination with the development of the Tung Chung cable car, the Disneyland project and a children's park; Strengthening Southern District as a tourism drawcard, with a fishermen's wharf and redevelopment of Ocean Park; Encouraging Sai Kung's role as Hong Kong's 'back garden', with more country parks, eco-tourism and water sports. Mr Tung said the 7.5 per cent growth in tourist arrivals over the past six months, despite the economic slowdown, was strong testimony to Hong Kong's place among the world's favourite travel destinations. However, he said attitudes had to change if the industry was to emerge strongly from the economic downturn. 'We hope people will not lose confidence . . . There will be some anxieties in the process of economic restructuring,' he said. 'During the process, our service sector has to change attitude. Our efforts in developing our hardware infrastructure will be in vain if our software is not good enough.' The Chief Executive said officials had assessed and concluded that the Government had enough financial resources to implement the Tourism Hong Kong projects. 'We encourage the private sector to participate. For instance, there will be a demand for more hotels. New opportunities will be plenty.' Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung said: 'Our plan to develop a tourist centre is not solely aimed at making money. As masters of our city, we should be a good host to every visitor. This will demonstrate the character of Hong Kong. We want to become Asia's world city.' Commissioner for Tourism Rebecca Lai Ko Wing-yee said everyone could make an effort to bolster tourism. 'It's important to promote the message of 'be a good host' to the 330,000 workers in the industry. But the first person a tourist approaches to ask for directions outside a hotel can change his whole impression about Hong Kong.' Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, said it was important for people to understand the industry involved everyone. Responding to questions about alleged discrimination against mainland tourists, she said: 'We need to have a change of culture . . . Discrimination stems from bias. Bias can only be changed through education.' Mr Leung said it would be difficult to forecast how many jobs would be created by Tourism Hong Kong, or how much more important the tourism dollar would become to the economy. Tourism currently accounts for five per cent of total gross domestic product. The financial chief - who this week warned of further job cuts before the economy recovers - maintained that the 'best job security is your skills'.