Nearly 3 Billion Chinese Travelers to Head Home for the Lunar New Year

Feb 5, 2019

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In the spirit of the long-standing Chinese tradition of spending the Lunar New Year at home, the largest annual mass migration of humans (also known as “Chunyun”) is expected to usher a total of 2.99 billion trips for the Year of the Pig.

As one of two weeklong national holidays in China, citizens across the nation are heading to their hometowns to celebrate the New Year from Jan. 21 to March 1. Internationally, an estimated 7 million people are planning on returning to China from more than 90 countries. As for domestic travel, the numbers are even more astounding.

Passengers swarm the East railway station. (Photo by Xu Hui/VCG via Getty Images)
Passengers swarm the Hangzhou East railway station. (Photo by Xu Hui/VCG via Getty Images)

As of now, 73 million plane trips are projected to be taken during the 40 days. When compared to statistics from 2018, that’s a 12% increase. As for flights, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has scheduled 532,000 flights throughout Chunyun, which is a 10% increase from last years Spring Festival rush. CNN reported that China’s top 10 major airports (Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc.) will be operating 24-hours a day.

China’s rail network also network expects to see 4,787 train services before the festival (Feb. 5) and 4,860 after. About 413 million trips by rail (which is up 8.3% from last year) are to take place on the world’s longest rail network, which has just recently 10 new lines at the end of 2018 to prepare of the intense travel season. The railway has also incorporated some new technology into its system in hopes of easing the some of that trademark, Chunyun traffic including ticketless travel options and facial recognition software.

Trains prepare to set out on for the travel rush. (Photo by Yang Bo/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
Trains prepare to set out on for the travel rush. (Photo by Yang Bo/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
Passengers wait with their luggage at the Hangzhou east railway station. (Photo by Chen Zhongqiu/VCG via Getty Images)
Passengers wait with their luggage at the Hangzhou east railway station. (Photo by Chen Zhongqiu/VCG via Getty Images)

It will also be the first Chunyun to incorporate China’s new “social credit system” on flights and trains. So, for those who aren’t in great standing — look forward to joining the 2.46 billion trips expected to be made by automobile. Liu Xiaoming, vice minister of transportation, said that China has about 4.86 million kilometers of the road with 7,400 charging stations as of 2018. However, as you’d expect, traffic will be traffic.

Thousands of cars in traffic at the toll station. (Photo by Yang Bo/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
Thousands of cars in traffic at the toll station. (Photo by Yang Bo/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

Featured photo by Costfoto/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media Via Getty Images). 

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