To boost the economy, the government should extend the International Labor Day and National Day holidays from seven to nine days, said Li Shutian, a deputy tithe legislative National People's Congress (NPC).
Tourism and related industries have boomed since the government enacted seven-day holidays during the May 1 Labor Day, October 1 National Day and Chinese Lunar New Year periods in 1999, Li said.
The government decides that the three legal holidays last three days each, and the work-free period is extended to seven days with two weekends before and after the event added to the legal holidays.
In 2001, the number of domestic tourists reached 180 million in the three weeklong holiday periods with tourism revenue totaling 73.6 billion yuan. The two figures accounted for 23 percent and 14.7 percent of the year's total respectively.
More public holidays enable the Chinese to have more free time and they can choose varied life styles, said Li Shutian, who is director of the Beijing Railway Bureau.
With extended vacation, tourists can have more leisure time for sightseeing, and they can plan their trips more easily, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2002)