20 February 2019
The May Day holiday has led to traffic snarls in many Chinese cities.
The May Day holiday has led to traffic snarls in many Chinese cities.

Long May Day weekend tests China transport system

China’s May Day holiday has, not surprisingly, triggered a travel rush in the country as hundreds of thousands of people used a four-day break to make domestic as well as overseas trips, putting great pressure on the nation’s transport infrastructure.

The Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday that traffic on high-speed roads in Beijing saw a big spurt, with the highway connecting Beijing and Tibet witnessing a vehicle line-up stretching as long as 55 kilometers from the fourth ring road in Beijing to Badaling, the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall.

State-run China Central Television reported that the Forbidden City tourist attraction in Beijing opened earlier at 7 am, only to find that over 22,000 tickets were sold in just one hour.

Survey shows that domestic trips for one or two days are popular in general. Favorable spots include Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Beijing, Xiamen, Wuyishan, Sanya, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Even a not-so-hot Zhenjiang is said to have seen a five-fold rise in bookings for the May Day holiday.

Outbound destinations such as South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia have also attracted more travelers. According to reservation data at a Chinese travel agency, bookings for outbound tours during the long May Day weekend have surged over 30 percent from a year ago.

The two major airports in Shanghai have seen passenger numbers rise nearly 20 percent, with outbound traffic accounting for 40 percent. Most people were traveling to Hong Kong and Macau, while Southeast Asian countries, Japan and South Korea also saw significant travel numbers.

The national railway system, meanwhile, also experienced a surge in passengers. The railway traffic is said to have risen 20.6 percent compared with the same period last year.  

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected] 


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