China to see 2.32 bln travelers over Spring Festival holiday period
2009-01-08 16:37:38 GMT2009-01-09 00:37:38 (Beijing Time)
Migrant workers enter the Changsha Railway Station in Changcha, capital of central-south China's Hunan Province, Jan. 8, 2009. The Spring Festival travel period, known as Chunyun in Chinese, began to see its passenger peak in Changsha as the college students and migrant workers started to return home. (Xinhua/Li Ga)
A woman rests with her children outside the Hangzhou Railway Station in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, Jan. 8, 2009. The Spring Festival travel period, known as Chunyun in Chinese, began to see its passenger peak as the college students and migrant workers started to return home. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)
Passengers enter the Nanjing Railway Station in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Jan. 8, 2009. During the Spring Festival travel period this year, known as Chunyun in Chinese, more than 6.19 million person-time is expected to depart from Nanjing, over 2.71 million of whom would depart by train, according to the Chunyun Affairs Office of Nanjing on Jan. 1. (Xinhua/Sun Can)
A worker builds the framework of tents to shelter ticket buyers from winter cold at the open ground of the Guiyang Railway Station in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou province, Jan. 7, 2009, prior to the Chinese lunar New Year starting from Jan. 26. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people are expected to move around by means of railway during the lunar New Year holidays. (Xinhua/Wu Dongjun)
A steward works on a train at the Changsha Railway Station in Changsha, capital of central-south China's Hunan Province, Jan. 8, 2009. The Spring Festival travel period, known as Chunyun in Chinese, will start officially on Jan. 11. Some 30 temporary trains are ready in Changsha as the preparation work is in place to ensure the safe and orderly operation during the peak travel season. (Xinhua/Zhao Zhongzhi)
BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- China expects 2.32 billion travelers during the upcoming 40-day travel peak as people flock home for the traditional Spring Festival holiday, government authorities said Thursday.
That represents an 3.5-percent growth from the same period of last year, according to officials at a teleconference held here Thursday by eight central government departments.
The eight departments included the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Public Security and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Local officials must step up scrutiny to ensure travel safety and make preparations for emergencies, said Liu Tienan, deputy chief of the NDRC, the country's top economic planner.
Freezing rains and snow over the past few days have blocked some roads in southern China. Local governments have been urged to step up maintenance efforts to ensure major roads are safe and clear.
Early last year, a worst-in-decades snow and ice onslaught hit southern regions and paralyzed many roads and railways, stranding millions heading for a family re-union during the Chinese Lunar New Year.
The country will see a record 188 million train takers in this year's Spring Festival travel rush, 8 percent more than the same period last year, Xinhua learnt from the Thursday meeting.
Railway authorities in the cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou have added 319 temporary express passengers trains for the holiday rush.
In the busy period, which lasts from Jan. 11 to Feb. 19, the number of air travelers will rise 12 percent year on year to 23.2 million.
Travelers by bus and by water will reach 2.07 billion and 31 million respectively, up 3 percent and 8 percent.
The Spring Festival falls on Jan. 26 this year.