By Michael Evans
More than 9 million people have left Beijing for the Spring Festival, returning to their ancestral homes to celebrate the holiday or escaping the festival rush for a vacation, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport.
A survey last month found that Beijing currently has a population of 20.69 million, the departure of over 9 million residents means that the capital’s inhabitants have been nearly halved for the Spring Festival holiday.
Most travelers are assumed to be non-native residents (numbering 7.74 million according to last month’s statistics) returning to their original homes.
Over 82 million people joined the Spring Festival travel rush in the fifteen days prior to the Chinese New Year, railway authorities said Sunday, a 2.7 percent increase from last year.