Two and a half months after the Spring Festival, Chinese people will be on the move again, with a record 150 million expected to make holiday tours during the upcoming weeklong May Day holiday, said sources with the National Holiday Office.
China's airlines are expected to carry 3.4 million passengers during the holiday, up 12 percent from the same period last year, while 7 million people are planning to travel by water, up 5.3 percent.
The number of train travelers will reach 44.5 million from 41.2 million a year ago and the number of people traveling by road will rise 8 percent to 374 million.
Statistics give a cumulative total of 1.63 billion tourists for the 19 "Golden Week" holidays since October 2000, contributing to tourist revenues of 670 billion yuan (US$86 billion).
The number of tourists in China's three "Golden Week" holidays - including the Spring Festival holiday, May Day holiday and National Day holiday - soared from 183 million in 2001 to 357 million in 2006.
Last year alone, the three holidays generated tourist revenues of 151 billion yuan.
The Chinese government launched Golden Week holidays in 1999, encouraging people to travel and spend money.
The holidays have been a boon for China's transportation, catering and retail sectors and helped raise farmers' incomes in some regions.
As rural tourism develops rapidly, some rural households can earn more than 10,000 yuan from one holiday, as much as the annual income of an average rural family, said a spokesman with the office.
(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2007)