As the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday comes to an end, a halt of
ferry services across the Qiongzhou Strait due to heavy fog created
lengthy traffic jams, obstructing more than 10,000 cars that were
leaving the southern China region.
As of Wednesday afternoon－the last day of the holiday－vehicles
remained lined up for miles near three ports in Haikou, Hainan province.
The Qiongzhou Strait links Guangdong province with Hainan province, and
the ferry service is the only way to drive to and from the island.
According to a statement posted on Sina Weibo by the Haikou
government publicity office, ferry services stopped on Monday and
resumed on Tuesday.
By 11 am on Wednesday, ferries had carried 32,583 cars and 145,225
people leaving the island since service resumed, it said. By Wednesday
afternoon, all services had resumed, but stranded cars continued to
crowd roads near three ports in Haikou, the statement said.
The government has also asked the city's civil servants to join with
volunteers in providing essential services to stranded passengers.
Hainan, known for its tropical climate and clean air, is a popular
destination for Chinese tourists during the Lunar New Year holiday.
During the weeklong Spring Festival in 2017, the province received 5.15
million tourists, according to the provincial tourism bureau.
Traffic jams in Hainan are a snapshot of peak tourism nationwide
during the Spring Festival travel rush. According to the Ministry of
Transport, 82 million trips were made on Tuesday, up by 2.87 percent
year-on-year, as people began returning to their workplaces from their
Railway passenger numbers were also expected to be up substantially.
Some 11.8 million passenger trips were expected to be made on China's
rail network on Wednesday, up by 7.6 percent year-on-year.
The railway system will add 1,091 trains to meet travel demand, according to China Railway Corp, the network operator.
Beijing Capital International Airport, China's busiest air transport
hub, was expected to handle 1,679 flights－283,000 trips－on Wednesday. As
of Tuesday, the airport had handled 33,500 flights, or 5.44 million
trips, during the holiday travel rush.
An estimated 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made during this
year's 40-day Spring Festival period, which runs from Feb 1 to March 12,
according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the top
Some 389 million rail trips, 65 million air trips, 46 million boat
trips and 2.48 billion road trips are expected to be made during the