China urges employers to make Friday half day

Shanghai, Aug 12 (IANS) China is urging employers, including government agencies, to give their staff Friday afternoons off during the summer months in a bid to boost tourism, a media report said.

A state council circular said on Tuesday that such a move would allow people to take a vacation using Friday afternoon plus the weekend, Shanghai Daily reported on Wednesday.

The circular also said that China will build more tourism infrastructure, including cruise ports and recreational vehicle (RV) parks, and give employees more flexibility in arranging vacation time.

Travel agencies in Shanghai said the move might also help to ease traffic congestion and overcrowding at scenic spots.

Currently, about a quarter of holiday makers choose to start their summer break on a Saturday compared to 15 percent on a Friday, according to Ctrip.

Peng Li, a tourism analyst with the online travel operator, said: “The half-day leave will allow tourists to start their tour earlier, thus alleviate the traffic and reception pressure of scenic spots and improve tourism quality and experience.”

But he said that full implementation of guaranteed paid leave and more public holidays were the keys to solving the disparity between supply and demand in the tourism market.



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