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Record Chinese tourists flock abroad for Lunar New Year

Companies court 6.5m travelers during lucrative holiday season

Chinese travelers crowd the main train station in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, ahead of the start of the Lunar New Year holiday. (Photo by Yu Nakamura)

SHANGHAI -- A record number of Chinese travelers are seen heading abroad during their week off for the Lunar New Year holiday, bringing heavy consumer appetites to destinations that have previously escaped tourists' notice.

Some 6.5 million people are expected to make trips overseas during the week-long holiday beginning Thursday, according to a Chinese government think tank focused on travel trends. This is 6% more than last year, as a strong yuan has made foreign travel feel relatively cheap. The Lunar New Year itself occurs Friday.

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