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Billions of journeys are made as Chinese return home for Chinese New Year celebrations

Wayne Iversen

By Wayne Iversen

Blogmaster

February 10, 2016

Monday Feb 8, 2016 marks the first day of the Year of the Monkey — the ninth animal on the Chinese zodiac calendar. The weeklong holiday, known as the Spring Festival in China, is focused on family reunion and is a time when students and migrant workers return to their hometowns.

Monday Feb 8, 2016 marks the first day of the Year of the Monkey — the ninth animal on the Chinese zodiac calendar. The weeklong holiday, known as the Spring Festival in China, is focused on family reunion and is a time when students and migrant workers return to their hometowns.

Chinese New is the world’s largest annual human migration – billions of journeys are made as many people get ready to return to their homes to celebrate the holiday with their families.  Many of China’s 1.3 billion people work far away from their hometowns and the holiday may be the only opportunity they have to visit home all year[1].

This year, the total volume of passengers is expected to grow by 3% from last year to more than 2.91 billion. According to official estimates, there will be approximately[2]:

  • 48 billion journeys by road
  • 332 million by railway
  • 55 million trips by air
  • And 42.8 million by water

Chinese New Year is not the only time the Chinese are on the move. The Chinese have become one of the largest source of tourists globally, and they rank as number one in terms of money spent during international travel[3]. Domestic travel is booming too – in 2015 China received an astounding 4.1 billion domestic and foreign tourists (+10%); total revenue from tourism exceeded RMB 4 trillion (+12%)[4].

According to “The Blue Book of China Tourism Economy”, published by the China Tourism Research Institute, China is entering into the golden age of tourism investment. Annual investments in 2015 exceeded RMB 1 trillion, which marks a 42% increase year-on-year.

Canada Wood has defined Tourism as one of its key focus areas for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, and we are currently conducting market research on the sector. Stay tuned for the results, which we expect to publicize in April 2016.

[1] Sim, David (February 2nd, 2016). Chinese New Year Travel: Billions of journeys as people head home in the world’s largest annual human migration. International Business Times. Retrieved from: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/chinese-new-year-travel-billions-journeys-people-head-home-worlds-largest-annual-human-1541464

[3] Curran, Enda (March 11th, 2015). Chinese Tourists Are Headed Your Way With $264 Billion. Bloomberg. Retrieved from: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-11/chinese-tourists-are-headed-your-way-with-264-billion

[4] Wang, Ao (January 19th, 2016). China Received 4.1 Billion Domestic and Foreign Tourists in 2015. People’s Daily Online. Retrieved from: http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/0119/c98649-9006244.html