Record-Breaking 9 Billion Trips Expected in China During Lunar New Year

By Ivan PetrenkoJan 27, 2024 05:44 AMNews
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Walking in Shanghai during rainy day
Walking in Shanghai during rainy day. Source: unsplash

In an unprecedented surge, China anticipates approximately 9 billion domestic journeys during the upcoming 40-day Lunar New Year travel season, starting this Friday. This forecast, as reported by Xinhua, the state-run news agency, represents a dramatic escalation from the 4.7 billion trips recorded during the same period last year. This spike is particularly noteworthy as it follows the relaxation of China's stringent Covid policies.

The vast majority of these trips, around 7.2 billion, are expected to be made by car, as shared by Chinese Vice Transport Minister Li Yang. The nation's railways are also gearing up for a significant increase in travel, with projections of 480 million passenger trips, marking a 38% increase from last year and an 18% rise from 2019. Notably, on the first day of the travel period alone, an estimated 10.6 million train journeys are anticipated.

Air travel is similarly set for a substantial uptick. China’s aviation authorities predict nearly 80 million air trips, a 9.8% increase compared to 2019 figures. Shanghai’s dual airports are preparing for a 57.6% rise in passenger traffic from last year, while Beijing’s airports anticipate a surge exceeding 60%.

Additionally, outbound travel from China shows signs of robust recovery. Chinese airlines have introduced over 2,500 extra international flights for the Lunar New Year period. According to Trip.com Group, outbound travel bookings for this Lunar New Year have skyrocketed, being more than tenfold higher than in 2023. Thailand, Japan, and South Korea are emerging as the top international destinations for Chinese tourists.

This remarkable surge in travel during the Lunar New Year signals not only a return to pre-pandemic mobility but also highlights the resilient and adaptive nature of the travel industry in China. As the world's largest human migration annually, this year's Lunar New Year travel rush is poised to set new benchmarks, reflecting a renewed vigor in both domestic and international travel sectors.

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