Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny/Cloudy    23 / 11 ℃  City Forecast

English>>Life & Culture

Rescheduling holidays can ease tensions

By  He Bolin (China Daily)

11:01, September 29, 2012

The "Golden Week" holidays have become peak traveling seasons and a time for traffic jams, huge crowds and numerous complaints. Perhaps traffic snarls, and the mad rush for flight, railway and bus tickets could be reduced if more holidays are declared, as some Internet users suggest.

A survey of 30,000 people, conducted by the Institute of Social Science Survey of Peking University, showed on average people work 8.66 hours a day. Some workaholics end up working more than 77 hours a week, almost twice the legal limit of 40 hours. But they get a mere 21 days of paid leave. In terms of paid leave, China is believed to be the third from the bottom in the list of countries.

Therefore, many netizens have suggested that more paid leave could ease the pressure on buses, trains and flights, because people will travel at different times instead of just once or twice a year.

Especially for this longest-ever eight-day Golden Week holiday from Sept 30 to Oct 7, as there will be some 362 million travelers on the move during the holiday, according to an estimate by the China Tourism Academy.

And the foreseeable travel peak can also be attributed to the government's new policy that exempts passenger cars with seven seats or less from highway tolls during the leisure period.

As the prospect has raised calls online for more holidays, but there are different opinions.

Dai Xuefeng, deputy director of and research fellow at the Tourism Research Center, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says people in China do not get fewer days' leave. The only change the authorities should make is to reschedule the existing holidays rather than introducing more.

Citing the Regulation on Public Holidays for National Annual Festivals and Memorial Days, he says Chinese people are entitled to 115 days off a year from weekends and statutory holidays. So they don't work for one-third of a year.

The problem, he argues, is that the paid leave system is not well implemented by employers in the Chinese mainland, and law enforcement officers are not powerful enough to ensure they do.

There is a big difference in practice in China and other countries, Dai says. People in other countries, especially in advanced economies, exercise their rights to go on leave and are supported by a strong legal and cultural environment. In China, people will think twice asking for paid leave as it is viewed as akin to seeking extra benefits, while employers deny such requests when they want the employees to keep working.

Hence, the related authorities should supervise employers to follow the regulations more strictly and grant the employees their legal rights.

There's a mad travel rush during the "Golden Week" holidays because people do not take long journeys during shorter holidays. The government shortened the May Day "Golden Week" holiday to three days in 2009 and added two other short vacations to the list. This has prompted many Chinese to spend more time at home, as opposed to traveling and spending abroad, and boosted the domestic market.

Besides, considering people won't make long journeys during other short vacations, the only long vacation of the Golden Week has concentrated too many long trip plans and thus has a "crowding out effect" that is partly attributable to the feeling of fewer holidays.

To help boost domestic consumption, the authorities can reschedule the holidays and grant people more longer holidays.

Moreover, while domestic tourism can help boost the national economy, traveling abroad is of equal importance to broaden people's horizons and expand their minds, and it's a major step for Chinese people to accommodate themselves into globalization, Dai adds.

The author is a reporter with China Daily. E-mail: [email protected]

News we recommend




Ancient villages face losing their souls

Can 2.7-billion-yuan "love" move tourists?

Breathtaking folk feats

Top 10 celeb victims of nude photos

Opinions: Beijing Opera of Bikini Show

"Beijing diary" made up of pieces of cloth


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese weapons arouse heated discussions

  2. Hug is a universal language of love

  3. iPhone 5 a new business engine

  4. Chinese models invade catwalk

  5. Explosion !!!

  6. What are these ??Can you guess?

Most Popular


  1. 'Economic war' with Japan unwise
  2. An end to the era of double-digit growth
  3. Human resources need more investment
  4. Japan should know facts rather than rhetoric prevail
  5. Be vigilant against resurgence of militarism in Japan
  6. Easy times gone for foreign firms in China
  7. Noda gov't in hot water as LDP eyes comeback
  8. White paper makes watertight case for Diaoyu claim
  9. Intl firms should learn from Chinese counterparts
  10. Aircraft carrier brings timely morale boost

What's happening in China

Job fair for overseas returnees held in Beijing

  1. Doubts remain in railway bids
  2. 2,000 in hospital brawl after woman dies
  3. Capital starts releasing new PM2.5 air quality data
  4. Food poisoning sickens 42 kids, one dead
  5. Five killed in gold mine fire in NW China

China Features

  1. Culture invasion? Starbucks kisses Buddha
  2. Public should enjoy more 'tourism benefits'
  3. Ancient villages face losing their souls
  4. Economic circles key to Sino-Japan relations
  5. How to pan for gold in cultural investment fever

PD Online Data

  1. Ministry of Water Resources
  2. Ministry of Railways
  3. People's Bank of China
  4. Ministry of Health
  5. Ministry of Culture