ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

China travel set to drop 70% for rest of Lunar New Year holiday

Trips tumble 35% so far following massive quarantines

Visitors stroll Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden during the extended Lunar New Year holiday.   © Reuters

DALIAN, China -- Chinese travel during the remainder of the Lunar New Year is expected to fall about 70% from last year's holiday, a Ministry of Transport official said Thursday, as a deadly coronavirus outbreak disrupts one of the biggest annual movements of people in the world. 

About 1.32 billion trips were made during from Jan. 10 to Wednesday, marking a 35% drop from 2019, Cai Tuanjie, an official with the Ministry of Transport, said at a news conference in Beijing. 

The volume of travel is expected to shrink further as the 40-day holiday period to Feb. 18 comes to a close.

"Over 13 million plane tickets had been returned by Feb. 4," Yu Biao, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said at the news conference, adding that there would not be a return travel peak as in previous years. 

In the 27-day period so far, roughly 1.07 billion journeys were made by road, down 36% from 2019, when the holiday fell at a different time. Rail travel fell 26% to 197 million trips. Air travel declined 27% to 35 million trips.

In early January, the government had forecast 3 billion trips for the full holiday period between Jan. 10 and Feb. 18.

People in China are staying put as new coronavirus infections and the death toll surges. Since Jan. 29, travel volume has plunged more than 80% to a daily average of roughly 13 million trips amid quarantines in Wuhan and other cities.

For air travel, reservations from Thursday to Feb. 12 are expected to come to about 40% of the year-earlier level.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more