Trav­el­ers flee smog in quest for clear skies

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

The on­line travel agency Ctrip said that it ex­pected to help send more than 150,000 trav­el­ers to over­seas des­ti­na­tions in De­cem­ber to es­cape se­vere smog that has hit vast re­gions in north­ern, cen­tral and east­ern China, in­clud­ing Bei­jing.

UTour In­ter­na­tional Travel Ser­vice Co didn’t give spe­cific figures, but it said the num­ber of trav­el­ers in De­cem­ber has in­creased by 10 to 15 per­cent com­pared with the same pe­riod last year, and smog is the ma­jor rea­son.

As the smog lin­gered, 24 cities, in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Tian­jin and Shi­ji­azhuang, is­sued red alerts, the high­est re­sponse level, as of Sun­day, and more than 50 is­sued or­ange alerts, the sec­ond-high­est level.

Wang Zhenyue, deputy di­rec­tor of UTour In­ter­na­tional Travel Ser­vice’s di­rect-mar­ket­ing cen­ter, said smog has been an is­sue for a long time. “How­ever, peo­ple can ar­range trips in ad­vance now, be­cause gov­ern­ments usu­ally is­sue red alerts for air pol­lu­tion one or two days in ad­vance.”

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