Vacationers Set to Hit The Road

Chinese people are gearing up to enjoy the coming week-long National Day holidays, which begins on October 1 and coincides this year with the Mid Autumn Festival, a traditional occasion for family reunions,according to today's China Daily.

Railway and air tickets to hot tourist destinations are in great demand these days.

More than 90 per cent of this weekend's air tickets from Shenzhen to Kunming, Guiyang and Chengdu have been booked, according to national tourist departments.

And more than 90 per cent of air tickets for October 1 from Beijing to Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Zhangjiajie, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin, Chengdu, Kunming, Xi'an, Dunhuang and Wuyishan have been booked.

Some railway tickets to hot spots during the holidays have been sold out including tickets from Guilin to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Zhengzhou.

To ensure that travellers have a safe, enjoyable and high-quality holiday, a state-level special office was set up to co-ordinate the work of 14 related ministries under the State Council, and on Monday it began to release the latest information for tourists taking advantage of the October 1 to 7 holidays.

The organization, with 14 directors, one each from the China National Tourism Administration and another 13 ministries, including the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Public Security, will be in charge of the travel network for holiday tourism nationwide.

Speaking at a working conference over the weekend, Sun Gang, vice director of the National Tourism Administration, said that provincial tourism departments must go all out to guarantee the safety of travellers and to protect their legitimate rights and interests.

``Inspections should be implemented of local sightseeing spots, hotels and other related places under the guidance of the provincial special office for tourism during the holidays,'' Sun said.

The country's most favoured tourist destinations, such as Beijing, Dalian, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilin and Kunming, have prepared to hold various activities during the holidays.

Balloon releasing ceremonies and singing concerts will be held next week at the Millennium Monument in Beijing.

The capital city will highlight its rich array of cultural relics during the holidays with an exhibition of celebrated ancient antiques, according to Yan Hongqi, an official from the Palace Museum, or better-known in the West as the Forbidden City.

Dalian in Northeast China's Liaoning Province has prepared 38 tourist programmes for the holidays including a fashion tour, an architectural tour and a sports tour.

Wuxi in East China's Jiangsu Province has promoted a series of moon-admiring events for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Folk art festivals in the coastal city of Xiamen in East China's Fujian Province are aimed at attracting more tourists.

Beginning in 1999, the Chinese government extended from one to three days the Spring Festival(the first day of the first month on the lunar calendar), the Labour Day(May 1 )and National Day(October 1 )

holidays. Four more weekend days were added to make them week-long holidays. This was made possible by having people work over one of the weekends and taking those days to make the holiday five full days plus one weekend.

The three week-long holidays prompted many people to take trips, promoting the country's tourism sector.

During the Labour Day holidays, there was a total of 73.76 million domestic tourists and tourism revenue hit 28.8 billion yuan(US$3.48 billion), according to statistics from the National Tourism Administration.

(Xinhua 09/27/2001)

Nation Gets Ready for Traveling Boom