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New trend: Big city-bound trips see a hike


02-05-2016 05:18 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Spring Festival

The Spring Festival travel rush has entered its peak as millions rush to make it home for their family reunions. This year however, there's an emerging trend of people travelling away from home. Many parents are packing up for the holiday and heading into the big cities to visit their working children instead.

Wei Banhu is a retired factory worker living in Nanjing. Normally his two adult children return to Nanjing for Chinese New Year, but this year Wei came to Shanghai because he thinks it's more convenient.

The biggest reason is that it's much easier to buy a ticket from Nanjing to Shanghai, as opposed to the other way around. Since both my kids are in Shanghai, it's really convenient for me to come visit them.

To better cope with the needs of people like Wei, who want to avoid the travel rush and celebrate the Spring Festival with their children in big cities, Xi'an railway authorities have added 34 trains this year to destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Some airlines have even offered discounted tickets for these passengers. For instance, one-way tickets from some second and third-tier cities to Guangzhou now only cost about 300 yuan, that's 60 to 80 percent cheaper than usual.

"Starting this year, flight ticket reservations from second and third-tier to first-tier cities have increased about 40%. Certain flights such as from Chengdu to Shanghai have increased around 60%. So this reverse trend is pretty strong," said Lu Bei, vice president of Ctrip.

However, there are mixed opinions about the trend among young people.

"Ideally I would like my parents to spend the new year in Shanghai. I could even take them out to see the sights. Plus it's easier to buy tickets."

"I prefer going back home to celebrate the new year. It's a different feeling. If my parents come to visit me I would have to arrange all sorts of stuff, which is a bit of a hassle."

February 2nd marks the 10th day of the Spring Festival travel rush. A total of 400 thousand people departed Shanghai on Monday from the city's three railway stations.

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