The South Korean government will consider designating two temporary holidays in May this year to create a nine-day ‘golden’ holiday week in an effort to boost domestic consumption critical for economic growth, the labor minister said Monday.
Labor minister Lee Ki-kweon released the plan, saying the government could designate May 2 and 4 as temporary holidays to bridge Labor Day (May 1), Buddha`s Birthday (May 3) and Children`s Day (May 5) holidays. This plan would allow people to take up to nine days off in a row from late April.
“To designate May 2 and 4 as temporary holidays, we will need approval from the home affairs ministry and other relevant ministries, as well as the cooperation from the industry and labor unions,” Lee said.
A temporary holiday is designated at the request of relevant ministries, with approval from the Cabinet and the president. The ministry expects a long holiday in May will have a great impact on boosting domestic consumption.
Last year, the government designated May 6 as a temporary holiday to create a four-day weekend, while introducing various measures to encourage spending. Sales at department stores grew 16 percent in the period from a year ago with a 70 percent rise in ancient palace visits and 9 percent in traffic volume.
“The government will also encourage businesses to join efforts, allowing workers to implement substitute holidays for the first week of May,” Lee added.
By Seo Dong-cheol
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