News and Policies

Shandong urges full paid leave to boost economy

Updated: Aug 23, 2023 By ZHAO RUIXUE in Jinan China Daily Print
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Authorities in Shandong have called on businesses to ensure the full implementation of paid annual leave among staff in a bid to boost consumer spending in the eastern province.

Reviving consumer demand and bolstering consumer confidence are key priorities for China's economy for the rest of the year, as the country seeks to drive a consumption-led recovery amid downward pressures, according to economists.

Policymakers rolled out a raft of measures last month to boost consumption in products and services such as automobiles, electronics, housing and decorations.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, making sure all workers get and take their yearly paid holiday entitlement will spur them to consume more.

However, despite the commission's action, work culture in China can sometimes lead employees into working long hours and taking very little leave.

"We have paid vacations, but most of us only take five days off a year," said 27-year-old Zhang Zhe, who works in a bank in Jinan, capital of Shandong.

"I and many of my colleagues prefer not to take vacations if they affect our work," he said.

Cao Heping, a professor at Peking University's School of Economics, said that the full implementation of paid vacation can help promote consumption in various sectors, such as tourism.

It can encourage people to travel, which can supplement the long traditional holidays in a positive way, Cao told China News.

The Shandong government's call was accompanied by those for better tourism-related services, such as more shuttle buses provided to and from scenic areas, the staging of more cultural performances and exhibitions of handmade products. Tour operators, for example, were encouraged to implement a multi-use ticket system at scenic areas that would allow visitors to use their tickets on multiple days.

In recent times, Shandong cities such as Zibo have sought to court fame online in order to drum up consumption and help their tourism industry's recovery after the pandemic.

Zibo has had several videos about its unique barbecue restaurants go viral online, and the hit song Luocha Haishi (A Market in a Faraway Land) by singer-songwriter Daolang has led to a surge in tourists.

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