China’s roads, railways, airlines and waterways carried a total of 2.81 billion passengers during the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year travel period, reported the authorities of  Xinhua.

The Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) released the figures on Monday, a day after the 40 day festival officially ended. The number marks a 3.5% increase compared to 2014.

A total of 2.42bn passengers travelled by road, while 295 million people took to China’s railways. Airlines carried 49.2m passengers and 42.8m people travelled by boat.

In terms of rail transport, China’s expanding high-speed rail network accounted for 41.4% of all train passengers during the festival, according to the MOT.

The total number of airline passengers increased 11.7% year-on-year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), as airlines operated 360,000 flights during the period – 9.3% more than during 2014’s Lunar New Year. On both 23rd and 24th  February, airlines carried more than 1.35m passengers, marking new records for the Chinese aviation sector.

The cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen accounted for the most departures during the first half of the festival period, as Chinese citizens returned to their hometowns. In contrast, airports in the southwest and northeast of the country were busiest towards the end of the 40-day period, as tens of millions of people returned to work.

And while the Spring Festival is traditionally a time for family reunions, tourist destinations like HaikouSanyaKunming and Lijiang also saw a strong rise in visitors.

The Spring Festival is the world’s biggest annual human migration.The total of 2.81bn trips marks an average of approximately 2.1 trips for every man, woman and child in China over the 40-day period.

Courtesy: TravelDaily Media