China has set May 19 as the country's National Tourism Day in accordance to a special tourism act approved by the 149th executive meeting of the State Councils of China in March 2011. To celebrate this remarkable travel event, many attractions and scenic areas will provide free entry or discount tickets to their visitors on May 19.
Purposes and Benefits
By setting the National Tourism Day, China aims to promote China tours amongst local citizens and overseas tourists, improve the quality of travel services, and let more people, rich or poor, enjoy the nation's extraordinary landscape & the lasting delights of traveling.
A large number of scenic areas in China will open to visitors free of charge. Some others will also provide discount tickets to tourists. And of course, in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu, special Chinese cultural shows and promotions will be staged on.
Notice: there would become very crowded in each attraction. Those, who do not like traveling with tourists crowds, should avoid arranging tours on May 19 though it is a nice time to meet and talk to Chinese commons.
Cultural Connotation of China Tourism Day
As a milestone event in the Chinese tourism field, the National Tourism Day also involves many cultural elements. The date of May 19 is specially-chosen to commemorate Xu Xiake of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the greatest Chinese traveler and geographer in history.
It was on May 19, 1637, that Xu began his 30-years' traveling around China and started to write his masterpiece Travel Note of Xu Xiake. The Travel Note, the first and the most authoritative China travel guide book, documents the amazing natural scenery and traditions & customs of the 16 provinces he had visited, some of which has been unknown to his countrymen before.
The theme of the Year 2011: Read More and Travel More
Each China National Tourism Day will have a special theme. The theme of 2011 is "Read ten thousand books and travel a thousand miles", which is similar to the west saying "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." It encourages people to read more, travels more and makes the best of their life every day.