Boom in international travel expected for New Year holiday

China is expected to see an average of 1.56 million inbound and outbound passenger trips a day during this weekend’s three-day New Year holiday, more than five times as many as last year, when international travel was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Immigration Administration said on Thursday.

The number is 90 percent of that in 2019, before the pandemic took hold. This year’s New Year holiday will run from Saturday to Monday.

The expected surge is primarily being attributed to the ongoing resumption of international flights, visa-free entry for Chinese citizens traveling to countries such as Thailand and Malaysia, and China’s unilateral extension of visa-free entry to citizens from six countries, including France and Germany.

Inbound and outbound passenger flows are expected to peak on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.

Inbound and outbound trips at Beijing Capital International Airport are expected to average 33,000 a day, with Shanghai Pudong International Airport expecting 68,000 and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport 34,000.

Passenger volumes at land ports to Hong Kong and Macao in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, are expected to continue growing, with Luohu expected to handle 190,000 travelers a day over the holiday, Futian 180,000, and Shenzhen Bay 120,000.

In preparation for the holiday, administration has implemented measures to ensure smooth customs clearance and has called on border control authorities nationwide to make scientifically informed predictions and promptly release information on inbound and outbound passenger flows to provide guidance for the public. It said queuing time for Chinese citizens at entry and exit ports should not exceed 30 minutes.

The administration advises domestic and foreign travelers to stay informed about changes in port traffic and clearance conditions before traveling and to carefully verify the validity of their entry and exit documents. Chinese citizens are encouraged to understand the security situation and entry policies of their destination before departure.

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