China has extended its Labor Day holiday to five days hoping to boost the country’s pandemic-battered tourism industry.
Many Chinese who were either unable to travel or had postponed their trips during the Lunar New Year holidays because of sporadic coronavirus outbreaks are looking at the May 1-5 holiday as an opportunity for a much-needed break.
According to industry estimates as reported in local media, about 200 million trips are expected to happen this year during Labor Day holidays.
Such travel projections would surpass even 2019’s pre-pandemic holiday season.
As reported by local media, the number of air ticket bookings for the Labor Day holiday has increased by 23% from the same period in 2019.
Train ticket bookings have also spiked. Experts say, it is a reasonable response to the depressed demand for travel caused by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, as per local media, many Chinese social media users have expressed their dislike for China’s public holiday system, which bites off free Saturdays and Sundays around other festivals.
Social media site Weibo is currently full of complaints from workers bemoaning their lost weekends.
They lamented; the so-called five-day holiday is paid for by their weekends. As of Sunday evening, posts with a hashtag translating to “the real face of Labor Day holiday” have been viewed over 440 million times on Chinese twitter like social media platform Weibo.
According to an online poll by domestic news outlet, 80% of some 819,000 respondents said they would rather have shorter holidays. The system has been unpopular for years.
According to a 2013 government survey, four-fifths of respondents said they were unsatisfied with it.