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Border control to beef up staff for travel rush

(China Daily)    10:09, February 02, 2019

Border control authorities across the country have been told to ensure enough officers are on duty to deal with the travel rush during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday and further increase efficiency to handle surging numbers of travelers.

Chinese ports are expected to receive an average of 1.77 million visits from travelers exiting and entering the country every day during the holiday, up by 8.9 percent from last year's holiday, the National Immigration Administration said on Friday. The Spring Festival holiday is from Monday to Feb 10 this year.

Border control authorities should open additional inspection queues during peak times to ensure Chinese travelers can pass through border controls within 30 minutes, including waiting time, the administration said. Efficiency in dealing with foreign travelers should be improved as well.

Spring Festival is a traditional time for Chinese people to return home for family reunions. Many people also make overseas trips for sightseeing during the seven-day holiday.

Airbnb's latest outlook for the Lunar New Year shows that travelers from the Chinese mainland are expected to visit 1,048 cities in 111 countries and regions during this year's festival. The online travel agency Ctrip estimated that about 7 million Chinese will head overseas this year to more than 90 countries and regions. The most popular destination is Thailand, followed by Japan and Indonesia.

Peak passenger flows out of the country through major airports such as those in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu are forecast to fall on Monday and Wednesday, and the peak flow entering the country may occur on Feb 9 and 10, according to the National Immigration Administration.

Border authorities at the land ports connecting the Chinese mainland with Hong Kong and Macao are preparing for a travel rush from Thursday to Feb 9.

Beijing border control authorities decided to temporarily divert travelers landing at Beijing Capital International Airport by guiding them to the east or west side of the arrival hall during the Spring Festival travel rush, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Beijing border authorities have also installed more facial recognition cameras with better lighting systems and placed fingerprint registration devices in a more convenient location at self-service kiosks so people can pass inspections faster.

Travelers are expected to go through border controls in Beijing 1 million times between Jan 29 and Feb 10. Beijing border control authorities will publish daily forecasts of exit and entry volumes through traditional and social media outlets.

Luohu, a major port in Shenzhen for travel to and from Hong Kong, is expected to see an average of 273,000 visits during the Spring Festival holiday on a daily basis, according to the administration.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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