Shanghai Tourism Festival concludes with nearly 40 million visitors

Wang Yanlin
The Shanghai Tourism Festival ended on Friday attracting 38.5 million visitors, with 88.6 billion yuan in tourist spending, marking a significant increase in holiday consumption.
Wang Yanlin

The Shanghai Tourism Festival concluded on Friday with more people getting involved in a wider variety of events, gaining greater satisfaction.

During the festival from September 16 to October 6, over 300 diverse activities were held throughout the city, with 38.5 million tourist trips and visits and a total of 88.6 billion yuan (US$12.1 billion) spent on tourism-related activities, up 13.5 percent year on year.

Over the duration, the occupancy rate of hotels in Shanghai reached 59 percent, 5 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

Fang Shizhong, director of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism, said this year's festival was another milestone with upgrades in both quality and quantity.

"We've been trying hard to innovate in various events, making them Shanghai-distinctive by focusing on the features of metropolitan-style, comprehensiveness and internationalization," Fang said. "That's how we made further progress when the festival entered its 34th edition."

Shanghai Tourism Festival concludes with nearly 40 million visitors
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Crowds on the Bund during the National Day holiday

Apart from traditional activities like car and float parades, shopping events and half-priced tourist tickets, the city also had new offerings such as high-tech light and shadow shows, guochao (China chic) carnival, more Suzhou river cruises, and a bundle of world-class sporting events. It also coordinated with peers in the Yangtze River Delta region to expand the charm of the area for people from near and afar.

"Shanghai is amplifying the impact of the tourism festival on the city's image and spurring consumption, thus fueling the construction of an international consumption center and world-famous tourist destination," Fang said.

With novel activities offered at good prices, it's one more reason for people to fall in love with Shanghai.

Fang added that Shanghai will continue to optimize its inbound tourism environment and attract more international visitors through large-scale festive events such as the China Shanghai International Arts Festival and Shanghai International Artwork Trade Week.

The goal is to make the city the first stop for tourists entering China.

The city will improve its inbound tourism service by maximizing its 144-hour transit visa exemption policy and departure tax refund scheme for international visitors. It will also increase the convenience of payment and customs clearance for incoming visitors.

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