Beijing: A record 150 million people are expected to take to the road, rail and air during the week-long May Day holiday period, state media on 25 April quoted officials as saying.
Despite rising complaints that China’s three “golden week” vacations each year generate little but crowds, litter and pollution and that their pump-priming effect is waning, the government has no plans to ditch the holidays, the China Daily said.
“With per capita gross domestic product estimated to keep growing, there is huge potential for tourism development during the Golden Week holidays,” it quoted the deputy head of the National Tourism Administration, Zhang Ziqin, as saying.
Some officials have previously urged the holidays be scrapped.
This would be a mistake, said Wang Kecheng of the National Bureau of Statistics.
“The system has contributed a lot to boosting domestic consumption and demand, which makes its existence necessary,” he was quoted as saying.
This May, more people are expected to travel overseas over May Day and use their cars, the newspaper added, without elaborating.
Six years ago China started week-long holidays centred on National Day in October, Labour Day in May and the traditional Chinese New Year in January or February as a way of boosting domestic spending.
But Chinese people, who have taken with gusto to the idea of vacationing since economic reforms started putting more money in people’s pockets, have become frustrated with the government-enforced Golden Weeks.
Tourists have dubbed Golden Week vacations “Golden Porridge”, a play on words referring to the hot and sticky swarm of people flooding tourist spots and public transport.