China's bi-annual Golden Week holiday, scheduled to be held between Thursday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 7, is expected to see travel disruption across the country's main urban centers. Travel media sources state that domestic trips are expected to surge in the lead up to and following the holiday period, with reports of flights being sold out and a significant rise in hotel bookings. The most significant location for the festivities will be Beijing, with a flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square at sunrise on October 1, which is usually attended by thousands.
Last year, 782 million trips were made, with more than 7 million people traveling abroad, according to government data. However, given the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, this year's celebrations are likely to be smaller, with some travel platforms estimating that around 600 million domestic trips could be made. Despite the reduced attendance, significant transport disruptions are anticipated in urban centers nationwide.
Foot and vehicular traffic congestion is likely to be most severe around major tourist sites. When planning overland journeys during this period, travelers should be mindful to avoid nonessential travel near landmarks and other tourist sites, to avoid delays. Normal commercial routines are also likely to be affected by the holiday. Those in China during early October should be mindful of the disruption to transport and commercial activity and the potential for congestion to cause severe delays. Review any travel plans made during this period and ensure business continuity measures are enacted if any essential appointments or travel plans are scheduled for Golden Week.
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