China to maintain "Golden Week" holiday scheme in 2007

Updated: 2006-12-18 21:26

BEIJING -- China's "Golden Week" holiday scheme for the Spring Festival, the May Day holiday and the National Day holiday will remain unchanged in 2007, although some people suggest revoking the scheme.

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A circular about holiday arrangements for 2007, issued by the State Council, has been posted on the website of the National Tourism Administration.

According to the circular, the government will maintain week-long or "Golden Week" holidays around the Spring Festival, the May Day and the National Day in 2007.

China introduced the "Golden Week" holidays in 1999. But after several years' experience, some discordant voices have emerged.

Complaints about overcrowding, poor service and a scarcity of hotel rooms during the "Golden Week" holidays have spurred debate over the merits of the week-long holiday concept.

Recently, a member of China's top consultative body called for a major restructuring of the country's public holidays.

Cai Jiming, a professor at Tsinghua University and a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), proposed shortening the National Day and May Day holidays from three days to one day. This would make way for four single-day holidays marking Tomb-sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat festival, mid-autumn festival and New Year's Eve.

Cai said the Chinese government's decision to launch the "Golden Week" holiday scheme had generated a number of problems, including poor-quality services.

But some tourism officials believe that the "Golden Week" holidays boost domestic consumption and also promote the idea of going out and enjoying life.

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