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China’s Festival Travel Down 37% Amid Covid Curbs

The number of people who made road trips during the Sept 10-12 holiday was down by 37% while the number of people who flew was down by nearly 60%, state media said


The number of people who travelled during the mid-Autumn festival fell by 37%, state media said.
People walk in a garden with hanging lanterns before the Mid-Autumn festival at Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong, Sept 8, 2022. The number of travelers was well down over the long weekend, state media said. File image: Tyrone Siu, Reuters.

 

The number of trips made by citizens during China’s three-day mid-Autumn festival dropped by more than a third compared to last year, state media said on Monday.

The news came as no surprise because officials in many cities had urged citizen to avoid travel because of the country’s zero-Covid policy, which has been echoed enthusiastically as the country gets closer its five-yearly Party Congress next month.

Passenger trips during a holiday that typically involves family reunions were estimated at 66.96 million between September 10 and September 12 when the holiday ends, state television reported.

Trips by road were down 37% on the year at 48.18 million and those by ship were down 15% at 1.54 million.

People took 1.28 million trips within China by air, according to the CCTV report, a level nearly 60% lower than the corresponding holiday last year.

China has been battling to contain the highly transmissible Omicron variant, imposing lockdowns of various degrees to stop its spread.

Japanese brokerage and investment bank Nomura said that as of last Tuesday, 49 Chinese cities had various levels of lockdowns or control measures, with an estimated 291.7 million people affected.

Local authorities have also urged residents to refrain from non-essential trips in the run-up to a week-long National Day holiday at the beginning of October and a Communist Party Congress in mid-October, when President Xi Jinping is expected to be endorsed for a rare third-term.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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