China sets national tourism day

Updated: 2011-04-13 07:34

By Xin Dingding (China Daily)

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Beijing - The National Tourism Administration of China announced on Tuesday that national tourism day will fall on May 19 each year, despite previous calls for setting the date on Chairman Mao Zedong's birthday.

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Zhu Shanzhong, the administration's deputy chief, told a press conference that the tourism day was set for May 19. That is the date that Xu Xiake, a famous geographer and tourist in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), began writing travel books.

According to previous reports, the Hunan tourism bureau proposed scheduling national tourism day for Dec 26, the same date as Chairman Mao's birthday. But that notion met with wide opposition from netizens, who accused the province of trying to "use the great leader's heritage to boost revenue".

Zhang Jianzhong, spokesman for the administration, said the public will not be granted a day off from work on national tourism day. Authorities will instead call on prominent tourist attractions to observe the day by charging no entrance fees and taking other steps meant to arouse the public's interest in travel, he said.


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