Relax, there are 7 long weekends next year
START planning your leave and perhaps booking your short breaks too. There will be seven long weekends next year - one more than this year - with seven of the 11 public holidays here falling on a Friday, Sunday or Monday.
When a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a public holiday.
You can also add three more even longer weekends to the count if you take a total six days of leave, to cover the two days before or after the public holidays that fall on a Wednesday.
These would be the days before or after Vesak Day, National Day and Deepavali.
However, there are no four-day weekends next year as there was this year, when the first two days of Chinese New Year fell on a Monday and Tuesday.
The Ministry of Manpower yesterday released the dates of public holidays for next year.
Travel agencies and hotels are expecting a boost in business as people here tend to go abroad or on "staycations" over long weekends.
At Chan Brothers Travel, long weekends usually mean at least 50 per cent more travellers than there are on regular weekends.
"Our customers do not necessarily restrict their travel to the stereotypical regional get-aways for long weekends," said its spokesman.
"Instead, the long weekend is simply an additional incentive to get away and travel, regardless of duration or destination."
In anticipation of stronger demand, Dynasty Travel will book 20 per cent to 30 per cent more seats on flights to popular destinations such as Australia, Japan and South Korea on 2017's long weekends, compared with regular weekends.
Marina Mandarin Singapore will be customising long weekend packages to attract people here to its hotel. Its staycation packages last year saw a 22 per cent growth in take-up rate compared with the previous year.
Teacher Hoo Pei Xian, 25, plans to make use of the long weekends by going on staycations.
"I look forward to weekend getaways to relax and unwind," she said.
One of the public holidays next year - the first day of Chinese New Year - falls on a Saturday.
Employees not required to work on Saturdays can claim a day off or compensation for that public holiday, if covered under the Employment Act.
Companies have different policies for this. At UOB bank, employees will be given a day off.
Public officers who work from Monday to Friday can also claim a day off, said the Public Service Division.
The full list of 2017's public holidays is found at www.mom.
Additional reporting by Samuel Mak