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Statistics show it's indeed travel season
( 2004-01-29 23:49) (China Daily)

Some 185 million Chinese traveled by train and bus during the Spring Festival holidays from January 22 to 28, up 4 per cent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Railways.
Statistics show it's indeed travel season
Passengers congregate at Guangzhou Railway Station Wednesday in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province. [newsphoto]
The Spring Festival holiday period has long been the busiest season in China with hundreds of millions of people returning home for family reunions.

The festival has exerted strong pressures on China's transportation system, particularly on the 72,000 kilometers of rail that snakes across the nation.

Trains are the first choice of transport for most passengers, because of safety and low cost.

In order to meet the demand, the ministry added more than 4,000 standby rail cars, and reduced trains in less-busy areas while sending more to highly traveled routes.

Meanwhile, Chinese airlines reported 2.02 million flights during the Spring Festival period, an official with the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said yesterday.

During the week-long holiday, passengers on Chinese airlines increased by 13.5 per cent over last year, with planes reaching a 66 per cent average occupancy rate.

Tourism areas, such as Sanya, a beach city on the southernmost island province of Hainan, and Harbin, the "city of ice" in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, were the most popular destinations.

Flights to and from those sites had up to 90 per cent of seats occupied.

Tourism cities and scenic sites nationwide received a total of 63.29 million tourists during the week-long holiday, up 6.4 per cent over the same period last year, while tourism revenues reached 28.96 billion yuan (US$3.4 billion), a rise of 12.4 per cent over the same period last year, according to statistics from the National Tourism Administration.

The income from tourism in 31 tourism cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou in Guangdong Province and Sanya in Hainan Province accounted for 13.38 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion).

Traffic accidents killed 390 people in China from January 7 to January 28, sources from the Ministry of Public Security announced yesterday.

The 390 victims were killed in a total of 46 traffic accidents during the Spring Festival peak tour season. The accidents also left 509 people injured.

The sources from the Traffic Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security said the death toll increased by 205 people, or 111 per cent from the same period last year, and the number of injured people increased by 279 people, or 121 per cent from the same period last year.

China's stock market finished higher in bullish sentiment yesterday, the first trading day after a 12-day break.

The benchmark Shanghai composite index closed 1.78 per cent higher at 1,628.837 points. The Shenzhen market rose 2.35 per cent to 3,816.88. The indices were pushed up by buying in large-capitalized, blue-chip companies such as cellular carrier China United Telecommunications Corp.

The exchanges were closed from January 17 to 28.

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