Home » Southern Tourists Flock North for New Year Celebrations: Impact of High-Speed Rail on Travel Trends

Southern Tourists Flock North for New Year Celebrations: Impact of High-Speed Rail on Travel Trends

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The Spring Festival holiday has seen a significant shift in travel patterns, with more and more southern tourists choosing to head north to celebrate the New Year. According to the State Railway Shenyang Bureau, previous years saw a majority of tourists from the north traveling south, accounting for about 70%, while only 30% of tourists from the south traveled north. However, this year has seen a reversal of this trend, with more than 60% of tourists from the south traveling to popular tourist cities in the north, such as Shenyang, Changchun, Dalian, Changbai Mountain, and Yanji.

One specific example of this trend is in Hongfeng Village, Erdaobaihe Town, Antu County, at the foot of Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province, where there has been a significant increase in the number of southern tourists visiting this winter.

The increasing convenience of transportation has been cited as a major reason for this shift, with the upcoming operation of the Dunbaishan High-speed Railway making travel to the northeast even more accessible. In response to the influx of southern tourists, the Changbaishan Railway Station has launched a “One-Click Travel” mini program to provide tourists with a complete set of guides for food, accommodation, transportation, and entertainment.

The development of local B&Bs and the ice and snow industries has been driven by the high-speed rail, and the catering industry has also seen significant benefits. Northeastern specialties have become very popular among southern tourists, with many tourists choosing this destination specifically to indulge in the local cuisine.

Another notable change is the surge in departure and arrival passenger flow during the Spring Festival, with the phenomenon of rush hour from big cities to all parts of the country being replaced by a two-way flow. This is reflected in the occupancy rates of trains, such as the Z384 train from Changchun to Haikou, which has reached 100% on both the upstream and downstream routes.

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Among the Northeast travelers to Hainan, there has been a particularly notable increase in the number of “elderly people + grandchildren” combinations. In response to this trend, measures have been launched to create a warm and welcoming travel environment for these groups.

Overall, the Spring Festival holiday has seen a significant change in travel patterns, with more southern tourists choosing to head north to celebrate the New Year, driven by increased transportation convenience and a desire to experience a different flavor of the holiday.

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