BEIJING (AP) — Authorities expect Chinese to make 3.6 billion trips during the 40-day Chinese New Year travel period that starts Thursday, officials said Tuesday.

These trips include intercity flights, trains and local bus rides to villages during China's most important holiday, which is also known as Spring Festival. Each year, it represents the world's largest seasonal migration of people as families reunite.

The Year of the Horse starts on Jan. 31. The Spring Festival transportation period lasts 40 days from Jan. 16.

Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning agency, said they expect 200 million more journeys than in 2013.

He also told a news conference that snow and bad weather could hamper the mass migration.

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