Passengers wait for the train in Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 12, 2017, ahead of the Spring Festival travel rush. Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, will fall on Jan. 28 this year. The travel rush, also known as "Chunyun", will begin on Jan. 13 and last until Feb. 21. Spring Festival is the country's most important family holiday, with hundreds of millions of people heading for their hometowns, which puts huge stress on the transport system. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
The world's largest annual human migration, the Spring Festival travel rush, will be even larger this year.
About 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made during China's 2017 Spring Festival travel rush between Jan. 13 and Feb. 21, China's top economic planner said Thursday.
The figure represents an increase of 2.2 percent from the same period in 2016, with air travel to see the fastest growth among all transportation modes, Zhao Chenxin, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference.
The number of road trips is projected to reach 2.52 billion, a 1-percent increase from last year, while train trips are likely to top 356 million during the period, up 9.7 percent year on year, Zhao said.
More breakdown figures showed that air travel will likely top 58.3 million trips, surging 10 percent from last year, while boat trips are predicted to reach 43.5 million during the period, up 2 percent year on year, said Zhao.
Transportation authorities have been prepared for the travel peak, but snow, fog and other abnormal weather conditions in some regions will add pressure to this year's holiday travel rush, Zhao added.
The Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on Jan. 28 this year. The festival is the most important occasion for family reunions.