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Tourism authority denies turning May Day into a week

(Global Times)

09:03, October 11, 2012

China's national tourism authority denied a newspaper report Wednesday saying the National Holiday Office was soon expected to announce that the May Day holiday would be extended.

A report in Wednesday's Guangming Daily, which said the National Holiday Office suggested the May Day holiday might be extended, was widely circulated on news portals.

The National Tourism Administration's two sentence announcement on its website said the newspaper's report was inaccurate.

The paper also suggested the National Holiday Office was looking into ways to promote the country's paid leave system and revising the so-called golden-week holidays during which most workers vacation at the same time.

"We could moderately extend the May Day holiday by adjusting other holidays and weekends to create more flexible vacation periods which people could choose to take," the daily said.

According to recent statistics published by the National Holiday Office, 425 million people visited scenic spots during last week's eight-day holiday, a 23.3 percent increase year on year.

The May Day holiday was cut from basically an entire week to three days in 2008. Liu Deqian, deputy director of the Tourism Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, supports the ideas of reinstating the May Day holiday as a golden week. He says more people are choosing to travel during the National Day holiday, putting pressure on the country's transportation system, the Nanfang Daily reported.

According to Liu, the number of people traveling during the National Day holiday has increased by more than 20 percent a year since 2008. Prior to the shortening of the May Day holiday, the increase in tourist travel averaged 12 percent a year.

Liu Simin, with the tourism research center, also told the Nanfang Daily that another golden week would help reduce the surge of visitors during National Day.

The lack of individual paid leave that workers could use at their own discretion means they can only travel during the national holidays.


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