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Golden Week Holidays to Remain: Tourism Officials

Sources from the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said the Golden Week holiday system would remain unchanged despite several problems during the system's 7-year-long operation.


The decision came in a meeting of the tourism group during the 2005 National Holiday Golden Week on Oct 8.


Based on recent developments, officials still believe there are more benefits than harm from the Golden Week holidays, said Zhang Xiqin, CNTA deputy director.


The office responsible for holiday's affairs claims that just 171 complaints were dealt with during the 2005 National Holiday Golden Week, 59 percent down year on year.


Yet due to emerging problems during the 7 years of the operation, people have been throwing doubts about the relevance of the Golden Week system, with some saying it ought to be cancelled because of problems in transportation and overloaded tourist attractions.


People jostle each other in a crowd in a park on 2005 National Holiday Golden Week.


They argue that a system of annual leave with pay should be widely adopted in order to allow people to take holidays any time throughout the year.


Yet officials say that as many as 64 percent of respondents still say that golden week holidays provide more benefits than harm to their lives, adding that the events are an indispensable part of their lives because family members can get together for fun after lengthy work and study periods.


Experts point out that it will be unnatural for Chinese people to go without public holidays like golden week holidays because it is cited as a tradition. Moreover, the annual leave with pay system is not well established enough to take place of Golden Week holidays.


Yet a chinadaily.com.cn poll found that more than 75 percent of readers say the system should be scrapped, and just 16 percent want it to stay. That indicates the authorities polling may be outdated.


CNTA officials say they are aware of the problems, noting that as many as 110 million people were entertained in tourism sites all over the country during this year's National Holiday Golden Week, an annual increase of 10.5 percent.


To tackle the crowding, they are calling for more improvement of public facilities and encouraging people to be rational about holiday behavior.


One Beijing man said he was very pleased with his National Holiday, choosing to drive his family around Beijing's suburb instead of traveling out of Beijing as he did before. "There were fewer people than expected and the service was good. We all had a great time," he said, smiling.


(Chinadaily.com.cn October 14, 2005)


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