SHENYANG, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Instead of traveling back to hometown, young workers in China began to invite their parents to cities where they settle for the Spring Festival holiday, a new trend during the annual travel rush.
"My parents spent almost their whole lives in a small county," said 30-year-old Li Qian from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, who works in Shenyang. "This year, I invite them to my apartment in Shenyang to celebrate the New Year."
Like many other young Chinese who move to big cities to seek better opportunities, Li has settled down in Shenyang, capital of northeastern Liaoning Province.
"It's also much easier to book tickets since most people make outbound trips leaving major cities to smaller places during the travel rush," Li said.
Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Feb. 5 this year. From Jan. 21 to March 1, nearly 3 billion trips will be made on China's transport system.
In southern metropolis of Shenzhen, over 3 million passengers have traveled to the city for this year's holiday celebration.
"My parents and my little daughter are really impressed by Shenzhen," said Zhang Song who moved to the metropolis from Hunan Province for better work opportunities several years ago. Zhang said he booked the high-speed railway tickets a week prior to the upcoming festival.
China Railway says this year's "reverse travel" for Spring Festival on busiest train routes rose 9 percent over the previous year.
Meanwhile, the number of trips from small cities and counties to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou jumped by over two-fold, according to Ctrip, a major online travel agency.
"The reverse Spring Festival travel mirrors China's accelerating urbanization," said Liang Qidong, vice president of Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences. "More rural dwellers benefit from the household registration policy that encourages them to settle down and become new city residents."