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Chongqing goes for a 'golden' break

CHONGQING Municipality has applied to be the first city to restore the May Day "golden week" to stimulate tourism.

The proposal was submitted yesterday to the National Tourism Commission after the tourism watchdog said local governments could do so if it helped counter the effects of the global economic downturn, according to the Beijing Times today.

Local authorities still need to apply to the State Council, or China's Cabinet, for the holiday to be restored.

The city, with the Three Gorges in its territory, will invest 75 billion yuan (US$11 billion) in tourism building 30 five-star hotels and 20 luxury yachts, according to Tan Qiwei, vice mayor of Chongqing attending the Chinese National Congress in Beijing.

Last year the increase in revenue for tourism in the city ranked second in the mainland and restoring the holiday would be a significant push forward, Tan said.

Guangdong Province is also planning to restore the holiday. The provincial governor of Guangdong Province, Huang Huahua, suggested going back to a seven-day Labor Day holiday to promote public consumption in the government work report at the end of last year.

A three-day break is scheduled for May this year. From 2000 through 2007, the Labor Day holiday was seven days.


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