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Travel firms keep 7-day program in Guangdong

Travel agencies in south China's Guangdong Province will not cancel weeklong tour services during the May Day holiday, even though the central government may strike down the province's plan to revive the Golden Week, sales managers were quoted as saying by Saturday's China Daily.

The State Council urged local governments to stick to the three-day May Day holiday scheme in a notice issued on Thursday --one day after Guangdong's provincial government announced its plan to extend the holiday by adding two days of paid annual leave and a weekend.

Guangdong's tourism officials refused to comment on the government notice, saying the final decision has not yet been made.

"We will not cancel products tailored for would-be travelers who have planned trips lasting seven or more days during the May Day period," China Travel Service (Guangdong) sales manager Shen Xiaoli said Friday. "People here view traveling as part of life, so they will still take trips no matter how long the holiday lasts."

The agency had not received any customer cancellations since Thursday, Shen said.

"People who have booked services, especially for outbound traveling during the May Day holiday, have asked their employers for leave," Shen added.

Liu Yuping, a sales manager of GZL International Travel Service, a leading agency focused on outbound tours, also said the government's decision had little impact on its planned business.

Liu said the agency would provide refunds to customers forced to cancel because of the government's three-day requirement.

(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2009)