China will transport 2.91 billion passengers during Spring Festival 2016
It is predicted that China will greet 2.91 billion passengers during the Spring Festivaltravel season of 2016, an increase of 3.6 percent from the previous year, said LianWeiliang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission on Jan. 19, 2016.
Lian also pointed out six characteristics of 2016 Spring Festival travel, and stressed thearduousness of planning for the season during a videophone conference.
First, the number of passengers keeps growing, increasing by 100 million from 2015, whichincreases the challenges of transport capacity and service guarantees.
Second, despite the fact that 20 high-speed rails have been put into operation in the lastyear, and the operation mileage of national high-speed rails has reached 19,000kilometers, it is still hard for people to get tickets to hot destinations during peak hours.
Third, with the improvement of people’s living standards, there has been a rapid growth ofdemand for air travel. During Spring Festival travel this year, an average of 11,700 flightsare scheduled for each day—an increase of 14.3 percent from last year. But the airports ofmajor cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, are already close tocapacity, and are sure to see a sharp rise in the coming weeks.
Fourth, people have more demand for personalized and diversified services. No longermerely satisfied by getting tickets, passengers have more expectations of what it means totravel well. These upgraded expectations will become the new normal when it comes totravel demand.
Fifth, a number of severe accidents have happened in the recent past, which necessitatechanges and add stress to the overall security situation.
Sixth, the strong El Ni?o phenomenon will appear this winter, according to meteorologicalpredictions. Spring Festival travel faces even greater challenges when temperatures dropand snowy weather occurs in the northern regions. Heavy rain will also hit the southernregions of China, and there will be heavy haze days in the northern regions, such as Huang-Huai, Yangtze River and Huai River areas.
The top priority should be security this year, and all departments should strive to bringabout a safe, warm and faithful Spring Festival travel season.