Spring Festival travel rush mirrors bright future of China

2024/2/12 13:24:52

BEIJING, Feb. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- A report from People's Daily: Long Fei, a migrant worker that works in south China's Guangdong province, returns to his home in Guizhou every Chinese New Year.

Many years ago, Long and other fellow migrant workers working in the Pearl River Delta region often rode motorcycles back home due to China's limited transportation capacity and short supply of train tickets during the Spring Festival travel rush.

Thanks to the continuous development of transportation networks in recent years, they can return home for the Chinese New Year taking high-speed trains or airplanes today. Long has bought a car and now drives home with his wife and daughter for the Chinese New Year.

The declining number of migrant workers riding motorcycles back home for the Chinese New Year exactly reflects the changes and progress in China's Spring Festival travel rush.

According to estimates by China's Ministry of Transport, approximately 9 billion passenger trips will take place during this year's Spring Festival travel rush.

The traditional transportation sectors - railways, highways, aviation, and shipping - will all be operating at full capacity. Newer forms of travel such as road trips, ride-sharing, and car rentals will also provide diverse options.

Huge numbers of trips are being made for family visits and tourism, and by students and migrant workers returning home. The mobility mirrors China's continuous economic recovery and social vitality.

The changes in the Spring Festival travel rush not only affect people's choices of transportation but also impact consumer demands.

This year, it is estimated that 7.2 billion trips will be made by car, accounting for 80 percent of the total. Nowadays, people can enjoy family gatherings and reunion dinners without being confined to their homes, as their mobility has been significantly facilitated by vehicles. They can go for trips whenever they want.

In addition, various transportation means such as high-speed trains, airplanes, and rental cars are working in close collaboration, allowing people to go to different destinations.

The diversification of travel choices not only facilitates people's travels but also fuels a more vibrant Spring Festival consumer market.

The tense Spring Festival travel rush has brought pressure to related service sectors, but it has also presented opportunities for development. Train stations opened up exclusive channels for passengers with special needs; airports upgraded services for first-time travelers, ride-hailing platforms increased capacity allocation, and highway service areas have provided catering, repair, and medical services to drivers. These thoughtful services have turned travel from a matter of "just getting from A to B" into a pleasant experience people can truly enjoy.

Relieving the pain points of Spring Festival travelers can uncover new opportunities for the development of the transportation industry.

Factories are working overtime to increase production; logistics companies are working to ensure stable supply chains, and retail, hospitality and tourism businesses are fully prepared to meet customer demand. This coordinated effort across the production, logistics and service sectors to provide uninterrupted offerings is fulfilling people's travel needs during the Chinese New Year, tapping into the potential of the Spring Festival market, and demonstrating the resilience of the Chinese economy.

In recent years, China has built the world's largest high-speed rail network, highway system, and world-class sea ports. This extensive transportation infrastructure has stimulated investment, boosted development, and met the travel needs of the people.

In the past, Chinese people would take long journeys before reuniting with family during the Chinese New Year, and today, they are spending the festival wherever they want. People used to carry large bags filled with gifts when visiting their parents, now thanks to online shopping, the goods can be delivered home directly. People's increasing demand for a better life provides impetus for advancement across many industries, including transportation.

The continuous growth in passenger flow unleashes stronger consumer drive, greater economic vitality, and larger development potential, reflecting the essence of "Spring Festival travel rush economy" where supply and demand mutually promote each other and drive the formation of a higher level dynamic equilibrium.

The development of the Spring Festival travel rush is a history of population mobility. In the 1980s, with the opening of the urban-rural migration, there was a surge in migrant workers going out to work, which contributed to the rise of the "world's factory" and created the phenomenon of the Spring Festival travel rush. Nowadays, more people are going to other places for education and business opportunities, and then returning to contribute to the development of their hometowns.

This is a process in which individuals grow in sync with the pace of the times, and their personal aspirations resonate with the development of the nation. In the new era, various factors are flowing freely, and the channels for development are more open, providing unprecedented opportunities for talents from all walks of life to strive for success.

The stable train ticket prices, the significantly improved train speeds, and the increasingly convenient journeys back home have become a vivid portrayal of Chinese modernization, which aims to balance efficiency and fairness and allow the general public to better share the benefits of development. In the Spring Festival travel rush, we can see a bright future of China.