China wants longer weekends to boost tourism
It's an idea that would probably be popular with most Brits, but it's the people of China who might get to have a two and a half day weekend if their Government's plans to boost tourism become a reality.
The Chinese government is thinking about introducing the radical plan to create a new longer weekend as part of an effort to enhance domestic tourism in the country.
China's State Council has said it wants to make "favourable conditions" so that workers can enjoy more time with their families and stimulate home-based tourism at the same time.
The China Daily newspaper has reported that Hebei, Jiangxi, Chongqing and other provinces and municipalities across China have already issued new policies to implement the concept. Businesses have been called on to create two and a half day weekends during the summer months and private companies, government institutions, state-owned companies and joint ventures will all be given incentives to let their workers to leave work early on Fridays.
The idea has been given a cautious welcome by Chinese tourism bodies who have also questioned how effective it would be.
Liu Simin, Deputy Secretary General of the Beijing Tourism Society, said: “Three key points contained in this plan suggest it's only a benefit for a certain group of people. Firstly, it's not a rule, but rather a suggestion. Secondly, the plan is conditional. Lastly, it's only applied to the summer months, rather than all-year round. Because of these stipulations, the coverage of the 2.5-day weekend is going to be very limited.”
The fact that not every company will be required to adopt the idea was pointed out by Qin Dingbo, Vice-Director of Chongqing's Tourism Bureau, who told The China Daily: “In implementing a 2.5-day weekend, companies will still have to comply with China's laws and regulations. This means the programme can't effect companies' legal obligations, production or overall business.”
The two-day weekend was only introduced in China nationwide in 1995 and if the new idea is approved it could begin this summer.
If you're thinking of taking a long weekend for a short notice getaway, don't forget to buy your Last Minute Travel Insurance.
Date Created: 11 February 2016