Battle for Tourism Day Distorts Tourism
    2010-01-25 15:46:33      Web Editor: Xu Leiying

Some Chinese provinces are in line for the right to name a date for the "National Tourism Day."

Wuxi City of Jiangsu province wants the holiday to fall on March 29, the day on which famous Ming Dynasty tourist Xu Xiake, who was born in Wuxi, started traveling.

Meanwhile, Hunan province, proposed December 26, the day late Chairman Mao Zedong was born in Hunan.

The National Tourism Administration has asked, a national news portal, to conduct a poll to solicit a date for the country's tourism day.

The online poll has received 4.2 billion votes while China's population is 1.3 billion, of which approximately 300 million are Internet users.

The staggering voting result has given rise to speculation that local governments are "forging fake support" for their recommendations.

A commentary in the Yanzhao Metropolitan Daily says the battle of local governments has distorted the essence of tourism.

The writer says it is understandable that local governments want to depend on tourism to boost their revenues. But National Tourism Day could not be used as a commercial tactic to scramble for interests.

The article says the essence of traveling is its cultural and spiritual value which enables tourists to edify their mind and spirit. The commercial value of tourism is an additional one and it can not be considered as the final goal to promote tourism.

However the writer points out that in recent years, some highly commercialized tourist attractions have lost their original charm as a clutter of unsightly billboards or shopping malls have been brought in.

The writer says if traveling is considered as a tool to gain profits, it makes no sense to have a "National Tourism Day."


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