It is the biggest human migration in the world.
America’s busiest travel days center around Thanksgiving Day near the end of November. This weekend has consistently proven to be much busier than the Christmas holiday period in the United States.
Canada’s is during the Christmas week period as families reunite, coming together from across the nation.
Put them both together and the numbers are miniscule compared to what is taking place in China as you read this.
Over 230 million people are on the move. This migration home, for hundreds of thousands, the one and only time they will get there for a year, gives new meaning to trains, planes, and automobiles.
Today (Monday) and Tuesday’s traffic and airports, train stations, and highways will be overwhelming.
This is China’s celebration.
While it is primarily a week-long holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, New Year’s Eve is the most important family gathering. But the festival season actually lasts until February 27.
It is the year of the Rabbit and Chinese citizens are hopping onto any mode of transportation in record numbers. During that time 2.6 billion trips are expected to be taken this year.
Travel in China is not cheap but nothing will keep back most from making the journey away from the cities where they are employed to their homes. Often many, analysing their wages against the cost of living in the cities, chose not to return.
In the meantime China has sunk, and is investing even more, billions of dollars into improving transportation infracture to allow faster travel to and from ancestrial homes.
A new high speed rail line between Bejing and Shanghai will be opened by June, paving the way for quicker tourist travel as well. This line will cut travel time between the two cities in half, from 10 to 5 hours.
Roads, rails, airports, and all manner of improvements in between will help move these numbers during the New Years period in the future, and travellers will derive the benifits all year round.