If you plan on moving around during Chinese New Year, book tickets well in advance because more than 3 billion trips are expected on roads, trains, planes and ships. Therefore, good preparation is key to ensuring a healthy, safe and happy Chinese New Year.
International SOS, the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services group, and Control Risks, the world’s leading global risk consultancy firm, are expecting over 700,000 expats and travelling members to be in China during the festival season.
Tickets for planes, trains and other forms of transport will be sold out quickly and will become more expensive as the holiday approaches. Due to the number of people travelling expect delays and set aside more time to make a journey. Long queues and big crowds can be expected at the security checks of railway stations in major cities. Additionally, major airports will experience bigger crowds and extra time should be planned for immigration and security.
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4713 begins on Feb. 19, 2015.
“Every Chinese New Year, there’s talk of the risks in travelling either domestically in China or internationally”, said Dr. Gordon Peters, Medical Director for North Asia.
He continued: “Of course there are plenty of dangers associated with being on the move at this time of year, but with increased traffic on the road, plenty of fireworks being set off and the flu season in the northern hemisphere, risks will be all around this festive season.”
Despite reports in the Chinese media suggesting that the sales of fireworks at Chinese New Year had fallen last year by around 37%, the numbers of injuries caused by fireworks still runs into the tens of thousands every year, ranging from mild burns to amputations and even death.
Additionally, with huge numbers of people travelling, crowds pose potential risks to those on the move or those staying in their resident city.
James Shi, Director, Client Liaison for International SOS and Control Risks in China said, “After the recent tragedy which involved a large crowd in Shanghai, it is important for locals and expats alike to plan before travelling or celebrating during the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival period. Planning ahead and staying vigilant is the cornerstone of minimizing risks during this time.”