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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:13, September 29, 2006
Golden Weeks falling out of favour
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The weeklong holidays around International Labour Day, National Day and Spring Festival are likely to be altered in the future, vice-director of the National Tourism Administration Wang Zhifa said on Wednesday.

"The quality of people's travelling experiences has been negatively influenced during the past six years due to contradictions between consumer demands and service capacity," he said on Wednesday during an online interview on the official website of the central government.

But a holiday period was still necessary for residents, Wang added.

"We will begin research in the near future on how to arrange public holidays," he said.

Public advice and complaints will be fully taken into account, he said.

The administration will put forward its complaints and suggestions to the State Council, Wang said.

The State Council introduced the weeklong Golden Week system in 2000 to help stimulate domestic consumption and spur economic development, especially in the tourism industry.

But in the Golden Week holiday in May this year, scenic spots throughout the country experienced unprecedented crowding.

Complaints included seeing tides of people rather than the scenic spots, high charges during the week, and difficulty in buying travel tickets.

Li Yiping, economics professor with the Renmin University of China, told China Daily yesterday that he would like to see a paid holiday system, where people have more choice over when to take their own holidays, replace the Golden Weeks.

"Problems occur in consumption and tourism during the weeklong holidays," he said.

What is more important is that the fixed weeklong holiday system in May and October will negatively influence economic development as it causes seasonal booms, he noted.

"There is no argument that the three Golden Weeks helped six years ago," he said.

"But since then the Golden Week's role in stimulating consumption and tourism has weakened."

More people prefer to stay home during the holidays now, meaning a low spending volume.

Li urged the government to cancel the compulsory Golden Weeks as soon as possible.

"If the government does not cancel the Golden Weeks, employers will not give employees paid holidays," he said.

Safety was also a concern for Li. Accidents have frequently occurred during Golden Week holidays in the past few years.

Source: China Daily

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