China registers 1.38 billion trips during holiday rush

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Beijing, Feb 14 (IANS) China’s Spring Festival holiday rush so far has recorded 1.38 billion railroad trips, a 3.3 percent growth from last year, the media reported on Sunday.

The 40-day spring holiday rush reached its midpoint on Saturday with railroad traffic increasing 9.1 percent, compared to the same period last year, highway traffic up 2.8 percent, air traffic up 3.1 percent and maritime traffic down 3.2 percent, according to the country’s transportation ministry, the Global Times reported.

The ministry said its data showed that 80 percent of people travelled during the period to visit families and friends while 10 percent chose to travel for leisure. It also said 17.7 percent of the Chinese tourists chose overseas destinations.

A new trend has also emerged in China during this year’s Spring Festival, when more migrant workers from the country’s less developed inland areas preferred to find jobs in adjacent provinces rather than to travel to megacities like Beijing and Shanghai.

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Experts have attributed this to the rising cost of living in the country’s first-tier cities and the growing demand for labour in central and western China.

Over 80 percent of the population of Nanchong, Sichuan province, moved to Chongqing on the last day of the Spring Festival holiday, while people travelling to Beijing and Shanghai accounted for less than two percent, athe ministry added.

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