Three times of the year in China are immediately identifiable to anyone who looks at a street, hotel, or a tourist site in China during those times, even if that person did not know the current date. These times of year are Chinese New Year, the Labour day week-long holiday in May, and the National Day holiday in October.
During these periods, a huge portion of 1.3 billion Chinese people go on holiday. Otherwise beautiful tourist sites can become horribly crowded, hotels are booked out, and infrastructures such as roads and trains groan from the strain of carrying so many travelers. Furthermore, most workplaces in China demand that their employees work weekends on either sides of these holidays to make up for lost time.
Although everyone likes a holiday, the current situation has come under popular criticism from a growing number of Chinese people who think that the current holiday arrangements in China are unsuitable, and should be changed. A survey of over 1 million people by the China National Tourism Association found that the majority were dissatisfied with the current holiday situation. A survey of 160,000 on popular website Sina.com found that 82% felt the same way.
So should the arrangements for these holidays be changed? If they were to be altered, how could they be changed to the best effect?
Ni Hao, you're listening to People In the Know, bringing you insights into the headlines in China and around the world, I'm Zheng Chenguang in Beijing.
We speak to Cai Yibai, a member of the holiday system reform research group at Tsinghua University, George Cao, Co-founder and CEO of Dragon Trail, and Dr. Wei Xiang, Deputy Director of the Tourism Management and Event Economy Center, School of Tourism Management, Beijing International Studies University.