Chinese public transportation including airway, road and railway in the past two days have seen a strong growth as the country welcomes the Qingming Festival – the first public holidays in 2021 after the Spring Festival in February, and consumption is also expected to see an obvious increase during the holidays.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, 1.54 million passengers took flights on Saturday – the first day of the three-day Qingming Festival holidays, a surge of 369.2 percent over the figure one year before when China was struggling with the COVID-19 epidemic. The air traffic volume is close to the level in 2019.
The railway traffic during the holidays has also seen strong growth, with the number of passengers on Saturday hitting 14.64 million, which is the highest this year. And China’s railway authority has arranged 963 extra trips for the second day of the holidays, according toChina’s railway operator.
According to China’s Ministry of Transport, the estimated highway traffic is 151 million cars during the whole holidays. And the traffic on the first day was expected to be 53 million cars, even though the official data was not released as of press time.
In addition to the strong growth in the transportation sector, China’s box office has also set new record during the holidays. According to real-time data from ticket platform Dengta, the domestic box office reached 312 million yuan ($47.5 million) on Saturday – the highest on the first day of Qingming Festival holidays.
As the weather gets warmer, people normally visit friends, sweep tombs or travel during the three-day holidays, the transportation and consumption sectors during the holiday are expected to register major growth because of travel during the Spring Festival was restricted, experts said.
“The accumulated demand for travel and hanging out since the Spring Festival is the major factor behind the strong growth of the public transportation sector, with the stable pandemic situation,” Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Compared with the public transportation data of the Qingming Festival so far, the data of the seven-day Spring Festival holidays in February – when people were urged to stay in the cities where they worked to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 epidemic – is relatively weak.
During the Spring Festival holidays, the whole public transportation system including airway, railway and highway carried 97.6 million passengers – a 57.9 percent decrease year-on-year, of which 23.97 million passengers took railways while 3.57 million travelled by air.
“With more people being vaccinated, the impact of the epidemic on consumer confidence is fading, and the consumption during this holiday and even the rest of the year is expected to surpass 2019,” Tian added.
“Under this situation, the consumption will undoubtedly record a double-digit year-on-year increase this year, and may even see a 7 percent growth compared with 2019,” Tian added.