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'Golden-week' May Day plan

GUANGDONG will set out a new plan for the May Day "golden week" to give residents five days off work plus two days of paid leave, an official from the Guangdong Tourist Bureau said over the weekend.

The local government will ask for the opinions of local residents concerning a return of the May Day "golden week" and if the opinions are favorable the plan will be submitted for approval to the central government, head of the Guangdong Tourism Bureau, Yang Rongsen, told CCTV reporters.

Guangzhou residents rushed to book trips at local travel agencies, fearing prices would go up because of the new holiday plan.

The proposed "golden week" for May Day would be made up of the original three-day official holiday and two days of weekend. People can also choose to use two days from their paid annual leaves, but it isn't compulsory. This would amount to seven straight work-free days. The government would also encourage companies to be flexible and allow employees to take part of their annual leave around the same time, to further lengthen the holiday, Yang said.

More than 2,000 people in Guangzhou City booked overseas travel on Saturday, said reports in Guangzhou Daily yesterday.

Zheng Nianjun, an official from Nanhu Travel Agency, noted that travelers would be able to enjoy favorable accommodation and transportation prices because people in other provinces would not get so much time off, so demand would not be so high.

In late December, Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua suggested returning to a seven-day May Day holiday would boost consumption.

Chongqing Municipality was the first city to propose to restore the May Day "golden week" to stimulate tourism.

The May Day holiday was expanded to seven days in 2000 and then changed to three days in 2008.


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