The number of people who traveled during the 7-day long holiday of the Chinese New Year fell by 57.9% compared to 2020 amid the new coronavirus outbreaks reported in China in the first weeks of the year, already under control according to the latest official figures.
This preliminary figure, published by the Ministry of Transport, is of a total of 97.7 million trips, of which 68.8% were by road and 24.5% by rail, well above travel by ship or plane data.
The total also represents a 71.5% drop compared to the Chinese New Year of 2019, an even greater difference because in 2020 the celebrations took place in the early stages of the pandemic, just days after the authorities officially announced the lockdown in the city of Wuhan, where the first outbreak was registered worldwide.
The Ministry also pointed out that this year during the six days prior to the holiday there were more than 176 million road trips, which is 97.3% more than in the same period of 2020, but still a 22.4% decrease compared with 2019 figures.
Amidst the new coronavirus outbreaks, which placed the number of cases at levels not seen since July 2020, the Chinese government announced a series of measures and travel warnings during the main holiday season of the year, during which the largest number of trips in the world occurs.
Following the announcement, travel agencies said weeks ago that searches for ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year without leaving the city of residence had skyrocketed.
The official press highlights some data in this regard, such as the fact that hotel reservations increased by 660% in the same city of residence and transactions in local tourist areas by 300%.
During the week-long festivities, movie theaters reported a box office of about 8,000 million yuan (about 1 million euros), which was a record for this holiday season and a new boost to the recovery of an industry that suffered greatly after being closed for almost half a year in 2020.
Likewise, retail sales increased by almost 29% year-on-year and package delivery services by 260%.
The last local coronavirus infection in China was detected in the northern province of Hebei on the 15th Feb, and before that the authorities had not confirmed new ones for seven consecutive days, a fact that seems to confirm, for the moment, the success in the measures taken to prevent large-scale outbreaks during the Chinese New Year.