Lunar New Year travelers reach record high: agency

WELL-PREPARED::The National Immigration Agency said it had placed more staff at immigration posts to maintain service quality and improve border security

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 - Page 2

The number of people traveling in and out of the nation during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday has hit a record high, with more than 100,000 people going through immigration inspection each day from Feb. 8 through to Friday, National Immigration Agency (NIA) figures show.

“The flow of travelers going in and out of the country began the day before Lunar New Year’s Eve, and the number of travelers has grown by as many as 15,000 per day on average on Lunar New Year’s Eve [Feb. 9], Lunar New Year’s Day [Feb. 10] and the third and fourth day of the first lunar month [Tuesday and Thursday],” a press release issued by the NIA said yesterday.

“The highest number of travelers was recorded on the sixth day of the first lunar month [Friday], with 138,053 people, beating records of any day during peak periods last year,” it added.

According to the NIA figures, the number of outbound travelers began to appear on Lunar New Year’s Eve, with 60,037 people going abroad when the Lunar New Year vacation officially began. The number of outbound travelers continued to grow until Tuesday, with 65,491 people traveling abroad, and then gradually dropped.

“We expect the number of travelers using immigration services will continue to be high today [Saturday] and tomorrow [Sunday], and have therefore put more manpower into the immigration inspection posts, in order to maintain the quality in service and efficiency, as well as improving border security,” the NIA statement said.