Hangzhou's paid leave for G20 a boon for tourism
A SEVEN-DAY paid holiday order from the Hangzhou municipal government sparked a rush of overseas travel arrangements by local residents and intensified competition between
travel agencies and
Hangzhou, in eastern Zhejiang province, will
host the G20 Leaders Summit early next month.
The municipal government posted a
notice on its website
on June 30 that civil servants not essential to summit preparations,
along with the staff of state-owned enterprises
in nine main districts of
the city, can take an extra seven days of paid holiday from Sept 1 to 7.
It also suggested private firms offer employees
a similar amount of
time-off during the summit.
"I would feel bad if I wasted this extra holiday time," said Yang Tingxuan, a programme manager at a magazine. Her boss decided to suspend the publication of two issues around the time of the summit.
Travel agencies reacted quickly. A leading online set-up, Tongcheng, came
up with several options.
Its G20 route, for instance, includes Phuket
in Thailand and Bali, Indonesia. It also offers discount coupons.
"About 4,000 coupons were downloaded a week after the government released its off-work notice," said Li Dan,
a manager at Tongcheng's Zhejiang branch.
Nearby cities Taizhou, Wenzhou and Quzhou are providing free tickets to scenic spots for visitors with a Hangzhou identification.
In Jiangsu province, visitors from Hangzhou
can pay just one yuan
(20 Singapore cents)
for classic travel service.
The scenic Kanas National Geopark in Xinjiang also dangled
500 free entry tickets
for Hangzhou residents.
ASIA NEWS NETWORK