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Travel peak comes as Chinese go home for Spring Festival

Updated: Jan 21,2017 10:29 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese authorities have forecast a peak travel rush in the second week of China’s 40-day “Chunyun,” starting on Jan 20, as many Chinese people are rushing back home for the Spring Festival.

More trips will be made in the second week from Jan 20 to 26, with the daily average likely to exceed 80 million trips, the Ministry of Transport said on Jan 20.

Chinese people made 520 million trips in the week ending on Jan 19, the first week of the 40-day “Chunyun,” referring to travel around the Spring Festival, up 3.1 percent year on year, according to ministry.

Trips made on trains surged 21.9 percent to 61.7 million in the first week, faster than the growth of trips made by other means of transportation.

About 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made during the Spring Festival travel rush between Jan 13 and Feb 21, slightly up from a year ago, the National Development and Reform Commission said last week.

Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important occasion for family reunions and falls on Jan 28 this year. Chinese people will enjoy a weeklong holiday starting Jan 27.

Chunyun, literally meaning “spring transport,” was first coined as a phrase by the media in 1954 to describe heavy traffic around Spring Festival, according to China Railway Corp archives.