WUHAN — China’s Spring Festival holiday is regarded as the busiest time of year for transport, as people across the country return hometown. Now that title is under competition.
The railway bureau in central China’s Wuhan, the country’s railway hub, say that trains passing through the station are estimated to carry more than 940,000 people during the peak day during the current National Day holiday, a number close to the peak of the Spring Festival rush.
Unlike the year-end festival where most people visit their families, the seven-day national holiday is often seen as a time for travel.
According to Ctrip, China’s leading online provider of travel services, the number of people traveling by high-speed rail during this year’s National Day holiday more than doubled year-on-year.
“The high-speed rail is very fast and comfortable,” said Wang Changhe, a tourist at Wuhan Train Station. “In recent years, we could go to a different city once we are on vacation thanks to the high speed.”
China’s high-speed rail has reached 25,000 kilometers in length, accounting for more than 60 percent of the world’s total. The network expanded to Hong Kong last month, cutting a daylong trip to Beijing to around nine hours.
In Wuhan, travel agencies have been receiving more inbound tourists from Hong Kong.
“We are seeing the number of groups from Hong Kong doubling this autumn compared with last year,” said Qi Haitao of Hubei Besttour Travel corporation. “From late September to late November, many of our routes for Hong Kong group tourists have been booked up.”
A man surnamed Yu, 80, took the high-speed train with his wife for the first time during the National Day holiday this year. They went to the city of Yueyang in neighboring Hunan Province.
“It takes more than three hours to get on the bus, but just over one hour on the high-speed train,” Yu said.