Saturday, September 30, 2006

Everyone Vacationing at Once: Bad Idea

China to rethink forced holiday plans
BEIJING (AFP) - China may overhaul a vacation scheme which forces workers across the country to take their three weeks of paid holiday at the same time.

The system of "Golden Weeks" was introduced in 1999 in an effort to boost domestic consumption and tourism revenue.

But it has also spawned major frustrations with overcrowded tourist sites, scalpers charging exorbitant prices for rail tickets and booked-out hotels.

"We will begin research in the near future on how to arrange public holidays," the China Daily quoted Wang Zhifa, vice director of the National Tourism Administration, as saying ahead of next week's seven-day break for National Day.

All Chinese workers, except for those assuring essential services, are compelled to take the specified three weeks off and are not allowed to choose to take their vacations at different times.

The first week comes at the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, which falls in January or February, the second week centres on Labour Day on May 1 and the third begins on October 1, China's National Day.

"The quality of people's travelling experience has been negatively influenced during the past six years due to the contradictions between consumer demands and service capacity," Wang said.


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