Do we need more holidays? 我們需要更多的假期嗎?


Vocabulary: tourism 詞匯: 度假

Image caption In holiday mood: I wish I could be here…

I live in London and I』m looking forward to 4 May. It』s our next bank holiday. We have a total of eight of these in England and Wales. I』m planning to grab a beach towel, some suntan lotion and go to the coastal town of Brighton for the day. Some of my colleagues are happy just to go for a picnic in one of the city』s many parks.

But at sunset after a day of leisure, no matter where we are, we will all be thinking the very same thing: why don』t we have more holidays?

These collective days off work cost businesses a lot of money. A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research in 2012 suggested that each bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.3bn and scrapping the lot of them would boost annual output by £19bn.

But they admit that this figure might be far from accurate. Actually, it』s difficult to calculate the loss of productivity because some of us compensate by working harder and later. And holidays impact differently in different sectors. A restaurant that caters for employees in the office complex next door will lose a day's trade, but supermarkets will have record sales of snacks on warm, sunny bank holidays. The zoo, cinemas, bars, hotels… they all stand to gain when people idle away the hours.

I think holidays are good for the soul. It』s important to get away from the daily grind and on some occasions a holiday can unite a nation. Ask a Brazilian about their carnival. It』s an occasion in which everyone in the country seems to let their hair down. In Britain, there is sometimes an extra holiday for a royal event, like Queen Elizabeth』s Jubilee. There are street parties and a real sense of community on these special days. Thankfully, another royal baby's on the way. Maybe we'll get an extra bank holiday for this!