3.6 Billion Passenger Trips: China’s Massive Spring Festival Travel Forecast
Once again China is gearing up for the world?s biggest migration of people, the gargantuan transportation surge that comes every year during the 40-day Chinese New Year holiday period. This year, the?Chunyun? literally, ?Spring Festival Transport??begins Jan. 16. The most important night for the masses of travelers will fall on the last day of the month, when Chinese gather with their families to celebrate, eat?jiaozi,?and light firecrackers.
All told, 3.6 billion passenger trips will be made on planes, trains, and automobiles this holiday season, 200 million more than last year, predicted Lian Weiliang, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission, China?s state planning agency,?speaking at a press conference.
The vast majority will hit the roads, often riding on China?s crowded long-distance buses. Road transport will make up 3.2 billion trips, up 5.8 percent over last year, and some 80 million a day.?Airlines, too, will be weighed down with record numbers of holiday sojourners, with 42 million flights expected over the festive season, up 10 percent from 2013.?Finally, passengers will make 258 million trips by train, up about 8 percent over last year. China?s migrant workers and students are rarely able to afford pricier plane tickets, so ?there is a big gap between railway transportation capacity and demand,? said Hu Yadong, a deputy general manager at?China Railway?(390:HK), at the same press conference.
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