World’s largest human migration: Travel for Chinese New Year is underway
While an estimated 54 million Americans make a long trip for Thanksgiving, this figure is dwarfed by travel numbers for the upcoming Chinese New Year. For this celebration, an estimated 413 million travelers will descend on the country’s railways and 73 million will take flights, beating last year’s numbers and setting the record for the largest human migration. In total, the Chinese government expects 3 billion journeys to occur over the holiday. The travel highlights the number of workers who have left rural areas or smaller cities for work in China’s major cities. Changes in travel times also highlight the improvements made in Chinese infrastructure, where bullet trains have cut travel times to many areas by more than a factor of three. An estimated 7 million Chinese will travel outside of China for the New Year, with Thailand and Japan the most popular destinations. It is unknown how the ongoing trade war with the US will impact travel numbers to and from North America.