The holiday challenge in China: the urge to change the way holidays are scheduled ?


The Chines “golden week” is over, from october 2 to october 8, China was on holiday for the national celebration of the founding of PRC. This is massive, really massive, to see a country of 1.3 billion inhabitants going on holiday, and since the population is having more money with the emergence of a middle class, this is causing trouble. And trouble on a population scale of 1.3 billion Chinese citizens actually means trouble.

Hundred of thousand of people on the roads, in airplanes, trains, buses… This is a dramatic thing to see, the monuments invaded by a massive crowd, the whole Chinese population is out there, at the same time, heading for the same locations. It is impossible to get a ticket for any kind of transportation, the prices are rising. The shopkeepers in tourist sports are happyn this week is not called the golden week without any reason.

Well, for this year, it’s over and the authorities are drawing the conclusions.

The positive side is that consumers spent 300 billion RMB in a week a sharp increase from last year. This is the only positive point, for the rest, it is close to a distaster. It cannot go on like that, there is no inrastructure that can sustain such a pressure on a limited period of time. There were 430 millions individual trips this year, close to the limit of what the system is capable to sustain, and people are beginning to talk about he Golden Week nightmare

The complaints are rising, people unable to buy tickets have done unbelievable trips with buses, spending basically all the Golden Week in transportation, few people were able to find tickets since the administrations have a lot of pre-sold tickets, plus with the increasing umber of tourists, even scalpers were reportedly unable to find any solution.


The people working in tourism are more and more suggesting that time flexible solutions should be adopted, with maybe different zones in China to avoid evryone going on the road at the same time; or to implement paid vacations that the Chinese people could take when they wish during the year. The problem is thatsuch a system could not be put in pace before 2020, which means another couple of years of dramatic queues and traffic jams and crowds on the Chinese famous mountains or in beautiful regions.

Now a poll showed this year that there is another thing that divides Chinese people about this holidays: 40% think they appreciate to have a longer holiday to visit their family or to go to more distant places, but 60% do not appreciate to have to work on week end because of the revised holiday schedule.

 In the incoming years, changes are likely to happen.

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