Monday , February 6 2023

Experts call for earlier, longer Tet holidays to ease traffic, foster tourism

Experts are calling for starting the 2023 Tet holidays earlier to reduce congestion on roads saying it will enable people to return home well before the Lunar New Year.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is soliciting public opinion on two alternative Tet holiday options for next year: a seven-day break from January 20 to 26, 2023, and a nine-day holiday from the 21st to 29th.

The New Lunar Year falls on the 22nd.

The ministry is leaning towards the seven-day option, saying it prefers fewer days off. The Labor Law mandates a minimum of five days off for Tet.

The seven-day break option for the Lunar New Year.

The seven-day break option for the Lunar New Year.

Nguyen Duc Loc, head of the Social Life Research Institute, criticized both proposals for starting the holidays too late.

To ease traffic and give people time to shop, return to their hometown and prepare for Tet, the holidays could begin on January 19, he said.

Many people are actually migrant workers who moved from rural to urban areas looking for job opportunities, and Tet is a prime occasion for them to go back to their homes and families, especially after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.

“Vietnamese value the time before Lunar New Year’s Eve than after.”

If the holidays begin too late, many workers would simply take a few days off on their own and companies could do little to stop them, he pointed out.

The nine-day break option for the Lunar New Year

The nine-day break option for the Lunar New Year

A Ministry of Transport spokesperson too called for an earlier start so that people have an easier time on the road returning to their hometowns, and crowds at airports, train stations and other places are easier to manage.

The ministry also wants a nine-day holiday to give tourism and the economy a boost.

Nguyen Van Quyen, head of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, also proposed a nine-day holiday for people to shop and travel.

A VnExpress survey of over 10,000 readers found 17% asking for seven days off, 39% for nine days and the remaining 44% for an even longer break.

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