China is not likely to resume the week-long May Day Golden Week holidays for the time being, despite growing calls to go back to it, according to the country’s top economic planner.
"We have not considered resuming the seven-day May Day holiday that was shortened by the State Council last year," said Peng Sen, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Visitors crowd on both sides of the Qianmen Street, a former commercial center near Tian'anmen Square in Beijing May 1, 2008. China is not likely to resume the week-long May Day Golden Week holidays for the time being, despite growing calls to go back to it. [Xinhua]
The May Day holiday was cut short to three days nationally last year, while adding short breaks for three traditional Chinese festivals like the Tomb-Sweeping Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival.
The National Tourism Administration also expressed the inability to reinstate the May Day golden Week this year.
"The administration has not worked plans concerning the holiday resumption," said Liu Xiaojun, spokesman of the National Tourism Administration.
However, "Local governments could develop pilot projects to promote consumption according to their unique situations," Liu was cited as saying by the National Business Daily on Mar 5.
Several of the country’s legislators and political advisors have voiced their appeals to extend the Labor Day holiday to one week, so that it can help boost the tourism industry and domestic consumption.
Zhang Xiqin, former vice director of the National Tourism Administration, proposed to resume the May Day Golden Week last week in a group discussion of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference annual session.
Chinese netizens also supported the holiday resumption. Five million people have voted in an online poll on people.com.cn and 92.2 percent of respondents supported the resumption, the website revealed last Wednesday.
China started the May Day and National Day Golden Week holidays in 1999 in a bid to stimulate domestic consumption by boosting tourism.