China’s 2020 high-speed rail system (HSR) will span 30,000 kilometers when finished and link to 250 cities and regions. For travellers looking to visit tourist spots and landmarks across the colossal country, this means shaving off travel time.
There is a strong correlation between frequency of travel and the availability of transportation facilities, as well as between per-capita GDP. With the build out of China’s HSR, total length of highways and railways will reach 3.6 kilometers per thousand people, up 16% from today. Our China economics team forecasts an average of 12% nominal GDP growth in 2010-15, implying more than 90% growth in per-capita GDP within five years. Greater affordability of travel, the large size of China, and the country’s highly developed network of roads and transport will encourage Chinese travellers to take more domestic trips.
Wuhan city serves as a perfect example of the relationship between the development HSR and increased leisure travel. Wuguang HSR, which connects big, major cities like Wuhan, Changsha, and Guangzhou, was opened in December 2009 and is now highly popular among leisure travellers. In the first half of 2010, Wuhan city saw total tourist volume and tourism revenue up 43% and 51% year over year.
Here’s a map from Morgan Stanley of the World Heritage Sites that the HSR will link to:
Photo: Morgan Stanley
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