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Premier Li encourages paid vacations and expects "era of mass tourism"

03/10/2016| 11:32:18 AM| 中文

Premier Li Keqiang proposed a "new era of mass tourism" and encouraged paid vacations which ignited widespread public reactions.

One of the new notions Premier Li Keqiang put forward in this year's Government Work Report on March 5 is a "new era of mass tourism".

In it, the phrase "paid vacations" appears again as a fundamental aspect of the trend. "We will ensure people are able to take their paid vacations, strengthen the development of tourist and transport facilities, scenic spots and tourist sites, and recreational vehicle parks, and see that the tourist market operates in line with regulations. With these efforts, we will usher in a new era of mass tourism," he said.

Premier Li's mention of "paid vacations" has ignited widespread public reactions. Liang Jianzhang, co-founder of Ctrip (a leading online travel agency), who views tourism as the most promising industry in the future, believes that the implementation of "paid vacations" is an incentive to Chinese economy. He maintains that "the average number of travels made by Chinese tourists is still far below that of the developed countries, so in the decades to come, China's tourism industry will have to make great strides and will eventually become a significant driver for economic growth. During this process, opportunities for innovation and employment will increase".

In Liang's opinion, facilitating paid vacations can bring a new cycle of tourism consumption and investment-as long as competent travel products can be developed, stable profit can be expected in the long run.

As far as public holiday arrangement is concerned, several proposals emerged into the spotlight during the ongoing two sessions, all of which focus on a modification of the current holiday arrangement. NPC deputy, deputy director of Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Bureau CSU Mingzheng proposes that the Spring Festival holiday should be extended to 10-12 days from the current 7-day vacation.

Voices come from all directions and because of the various requirements and conditions in different regions and industries, implementation is an even tougher task than policy-making. However, what can’t be denied is the substantial potential China has for tourism and Chinese people’s ever-increasing need to upgrade their consumption style. According to reports of the National Tourism Administration, In 2015, 120 million Chinese went overseas and spent $104.5 billion. 

"Tourism is a high-level spiritual need", said Liang Jianzhang, and this inner driving force can definitely lead China into an era of mass tourism. 

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TAGS: paid vacations | mass tourism | China
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