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Majority in favor of new holiday plan
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08:18, November 16, 2007

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The majority of 1.3 million people who voted online are in favor of a new public holiday plan that eliminates one of the three Golden Week holidays and adds three traditional festivals to the list.

That was the result from four of the five websites that conducted the survey, which ended last night. The fifth - the National Development and Reform Commission's (NDRC) official website - didn't make its poll findings public.

According to sina.com, which drew the largest number of 590,000 voters, 88 percent supported increasing the number of official holidays from 10 to 11; and 62 percent agreed to including the three traditional holidays - Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon-Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival - in public holidays.

In addition, 81 percent voted for retaining the two Golden Weeks of the Spring Festival and the National Day holidays, and 79 percent supported starting the Spring Festival holiday a day earlier - from the Lunar New Year's Eve - instead of the New Year's Day.

An NDRC official, who did not want to be named, said the economic planner will collect and submit the poll results to the State Council.

Some, however, criticized the poll for the way the questionnaire was framed.

Sang Jie, a Beijing resident, said the survey did not ask if people agreed with the cancellation of the May Day holiday.

"I will lose a week-long holiday, which I used to spend visiting my husband who is working abroad," she said.

A survey conducted by ctrip.com, an online travel service, found that nearly half of more than 1,000 people surveyed said it would be a pity to lose the May Day holiday.

Lin Zhiyuan, a member of the Beijing People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, said soliciting public opinion before a policy is implemented reflects progress in governance, the Oriental Morning News reported.

The new holiday plan, if approved, will entail changes in weddings and travel.

Shanghai Youth Daily reported that many couples may have to cancel wedding banquets booked for the next May Day holiday.

Travel agencies, meanwhile, are tailoring package tours to reflect the new holidays.

Zhang Lingjie, deputy general manager of the domestic tourism department of China International Travel Service Head Office, said that travel agencies will offer more three- or four-day outbound trips.

Source: China Daily



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