To boost tourism, consumption, govt suggests longer weekend

Updated: 2015-08-11 14:30


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To boost tourism, consumption, govt suggests longer weekend

A tourist jumps as sun sets in the background in Qingdao, Shandong province, August 10, 2015. [Photo/IC]

The Chinese government is encouraging people to work 4.5 days a week in a bid to bolster tourism amid the flagging economy.

In summer, employers could arrange for flexible working schedules, such as letting weekends begin at Friday noon, according to a document published Tuesday by the General Office of the State Council. The document, titled Several Decisions on Further Promoting Tourism-related Investment and Consumption, is dated August 4.

The news caused a stir among netizens. The hashtag #short vocation including Friday afternoon and weekends# became a hot topic on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social networking site in China. The topic has been read by more than 25 million people.

"Long Live Premier Li. This should be implemented immediately," said a netizen. Another said: "Please carry it out as soon as possible, otherwise the summer will end soon." Some netizens pointed out some potential problems: "The tickets in scenic spots will rise again."

The State Council has officially promoted paid vacation for employees at least five times this year.

Wu Wenxue, deputy head of the national tourism watchdog, said the State Council had passed a proposal on further promoting tourism investment and consumption during its executive meeting on July 28.

The guideline has made it clear that more effort will be made to push ahead with the implementation of paid vacation rules, Wu said.

It also disclosed further concrete measures that are set to be taken, including encouraging flexible vacation arrangements.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, only half of qualifying Chinese employees take paid vacations.

While Party and government organs and their affiliated institutions, large state-owned enterprises and foreign-funded companies honor the requirement relatively better, paid vacation rules are poorly implemented in private enterprises as well as small and medium-sized companies, the survey found.