Scenic spots draw big crowds after offering half-price entrance

Oriental Pearl TV Tower received more than 20,000 tourists over the weekend, more than doubling its usual weekend figure.
Imaginechina

Visitors in a long queue for Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, which is offering discounted entry till Friday.

Sixty-four scenic spots across the city are offering half-price tickets to celebrate the Shanghai Tourism Festival. Big crowds turned out at the weekend.

The Lujiazui area in the Pudong New Area was among the most popular places in Shanghai at the weekend for people gathering to see the landmark Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Shanghai Ocean Aquarium.

It took more than three hours queuing outside the aquarium at peak times.

“We have taken precautions in advance and opened half an hour earlier on the two days in preparation for big crowds,” said Deng Junfeng, operation director of the aquarium.

A tourist surnamed Chen from Shanghai’s neighboring city of Kunshan in Jiangsu Province said he left home at 7:15am and took a high-speed train to Shanghai after learning that the two scenic spots were offering discounted tickets.

“We three can save nearly 600 yuan (US$88) admission in total,” said Chen, who was with his wife and son.

Another tourist Angela Xu said she and her husband decided to visit the aquarium on Saturday afternoon to avoid the rush, but they still needed to wait for about an hour.

“We have been here in the past and my son was very interested,” she said.

“The ticket is expensive, so we came today after learning about the discount,” said Xu.

The price is 160 yuan per adult, and 110 yuan per child.

Oriental Pearl TV Tower received more than 20,000 tourists daily over the two days, more than doubling its usual weekend numbers and about the same as its holiday figure.

Shanghai Chenshan Botanic Garden in Songjiang District attracted 6,260 tourists yesterday, three times higher than normal. The figure also surpassed 6,000 on Saturday.

The operator said it used automatic ticket vending machines to speed up entry.

Shanghai Wildlife Park in Pudong had nearly 60,000 tourists daily, three times the average. Traffic police increased staff on expressway exits leading to the park to guide traffic.

The discounted ticket offer continues till Friday for all attractions.

Since 2011 it has become the norm for popular scenic spots in Shanghai to offer half-price tickets on May 19, China Tourism Day, and during the annual Shanghai Tourism Festival.

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