Xinhua: A peek into China’s domestic well-being.
Its Golden Week (黄金周) is a semi-annual 7-day national holiday, implemented in 2000. Designed so that three days of paid holidays are wrapped around surrounding weekends to boost its domestic tourism market and improve standard of living across the board, this measure underlies the importance the Chinese attribute to allowing people to make long-distance family visits.
That said however, China still boasts one of the lowest statutory minimum employment leave allowances in the world pegged to work experience- 5 working days (from 1 to 9 years seniority), 10 working days (from 10 to 19 years), 15 working days (from 20 years and beyond).
Australia where I am is generous in comparison with 4 weeks standard, plus 10 public holidays, and 5 weeks for shift-workers. Singapore where I was born saw 14 as a standard.
Underscoring this of outward symphony of movement of course, is its extensive and still-expanding affordable transport network boosting its arterial push outwards from the East coast. It’s not quite there yet (see China Golden Week Chaos on Global Voices), as the Chinese flock en-masse to favoured spots coveted in collective cultural memory – but at least this is an inside look at what China is doing, with a look at efficacy, in its desire for equitable wealth for this five-year plan.
Back in 1999 when it was first mooted, an estimated 28 million Chinese travelled. Eight years later in 2007, the number jumped five-fold to about 120 million. This year, thanks to the longest ever Golden Week due to the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday, the numbers are booming in this second half a semi-annual covenant between the central government and its populace. Interesting food for thought on what is largely perceived as an authoritarian top-down structure – allowing its 1.3 billion citizens to take two blocks of 7 days of continuous leave annually.
For a self-reflexive piece on the woes caused by such a huge volume of movement and in particular that long-lasting economic incentives remain absent to sustain the world’s second biggest economy, check out Holiday travel reveals weal and woe in China’s consumption(Xinhua, October 7, 2012).
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China’s tourism industry reaps golden harvest
No author indicated
Source – Xinhua, published October 7, 2012
Story Highlights –
• China’s 119 major scenic spots received a total of 34.25 million visitors during the eight-day holiday.
• Tourism income surged by nearly a quarter from 2011 to 1.77 billion yuan.
• Many scenic spots, including the Forbidden City, attracted record volumes of visitors.
BEIJING, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — China’s “Golden Week” holiday justified its title with a rise in tourism revenue, National Tourism Administration (NTA) statistics showed Sunday.
The country’s 119 major scenic spots received a total of 34.25 million visitors during the eight-day holiday, up 20.96 percent from the corresponding period last year. Tourism income surged by nearly a quarter from 2011 to 1.77 billion yuan (278.39 million U.S. dollars), the NTA said.
The administration said many scenic spots, including the Forbidden City, attracted record volumes of visitors during the longest-ever “Golden Week” bridging the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday.
On Tuesday, 186,000 people visited the Forbidden City, or the Palace Museum at the heart of Beijing — the largest single-day number of visitors ever.
But the holiday tour spree also gave rise to complaints among the public about unpleasantly crowded scenic spots and restaurants as well as traffic congestion.
On Wednesday, thousands of vehicles jammed two mountain roads winding to and out of the Lushan Mountain scenic area in eastern China.
The week witnessed a significant increase in the number of individual road travelers because of the government’s policy that exempts passenger cars from road tolls during the holiday.
The policy resulted in unprecedented traffic and caused heavy congestion on major expressways.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Transport, a record of 80.87 million people traveled by road each day during the holiday, adding the total volume to 647 million.
Meanwhile, the country’s trains carried 60.95 million passengers, up 9.4 percent year on year, while the number of airway travelers hit 7.61 million from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6.
BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — The number of travelers taking to China’s highways totaled 85 million by 4 p.m. on Sunday, the first day of the eight-day “Golden Week” holiday.
The figure is 13.3 percent more than the equivalent period last year, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Transport. Full story
JINAN, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — The holiday tour spree has indicated China’s consumption potential but analysts have warned long-lasting economic incentives remain absent to sustain the world’s second biggest economy.
Statistics from the Office of the National Holiday Tourism Inter-Ministerial Coordination Meeting showed that the country’s 119 centrally-monitored scenic spots all reported double-digit growth in both the number of tourists and revenue from Oct. 1 to Oct. 6. Full story