A train attendant offers a poster of the Chinese character “Fu”, which means good luck, to passengers aboard the G1709 bullet train from North China’s Tianjin to Southwest China’s Chongqing, Feb 3, 2019, ahead of the Spring Festival. [Photo/Xinhua]
THE REVERSE TRAVEL TREND during Spring Festival is a win-win scenario both for the society and individuals and should be encouraged nationwide. China Daily writer Wang Yiqing comments:
Several central government departments including the National Development and Reform Commission recently issued a guidance to cushion the Spring Festival travel rush in 2020. It said the State-owned railways will promote preferential ticket prices on unpopular routes to tackle the Spring Festival travel rush.
China witnesses a massive flow of people rushing home for Spring Festival, easily the largest human migration in the world. The rush poses increasing pressure on the transport system, and many people face difficulties getting a ticket back home every year.
Because of rapid urbanization and the difficulties people face in getting a ticket to their hometowns and again back to their workplaces, in recent years, the concept of Spring Festival family reunions has undergone a reverse trend. Therefore, an increasing number of people who live and work in urban areas now invite their parents over instead of visiting their hometowns.
According to online travel service provider Ctrip.com, in 2019, the demand for flight tickets to major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Tianjin increased 40 percent year-on-year during Spring Festival. Also there was a 42 percent year-on-year rise in the number of passengers who were aged above 50.
This reverse rush has lessened the original one-way rush and this is a win-win situation both for society and individuals. This trend will not only ease transportation pressure during the Spring Festival travel season but also save people’s time and money.
This is the first time that the government is officially encouraging this trend by providing preferential ticket prices too.
The aviation industry has already noticed this trend and is promoting a win-win reverse travel trend through low flight ticket prices. To promote this win-win trend, more comprehensive public service policies should be launched, such as expanding the preferential ticket system to other means of transport.
Also, some urban scenic spots should encourage migrant workers to stay in the cities and enjoy Spring Festival there.