Autumn Golden Week crowds stay steady, but new favorites emerge
Tourist numbers for Golden Week this autumn — combining National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival from October 1 to 8 — remained steady, with about 10.6 million visitors.
Those who stayed overnight spent an average 1,023 yuan (US$157) daily during the holiday, up 2.4 percent, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said yesterday.
But the mix changed dramatically, with some venues recording strong increases and others seeing visitor numbers plunge.
The Bund, Yuyuan Garden, and the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall were the most popular destinations for tourists from abroad and from around the country, while newly opened suburban parks drew the locals.
Yuyuan Garden received 880,000 tourists between October 1 and 7, while the Bund had 1.78 million tourists and more than 410,000 people toured the city’s parks.
With the construction of 45 kilometers of uninterrupted pedestrian paths along the Huangpu River, cruise trips were also increasingly popular — with numbers topping 120,000, an almost 23 percent increase from the same period last year.
Tourist attractions across the city offered everything from music to food and magic to lure the crowds.
More than 149,000 people visited the landmark Oriental Pearl TV Tower, down 13 percent. But the Shanghai Wildlife Park welcomed 239,000 people, up 19 percent, according to the tourism office.
Century Park also saw an 18 percent rise in visitors, to 120,000.
Jinmao Tower had 94,000 tourists, a drop of 3 percent.
More than 190,000 people visited Fengjing Water Town, up 8 percent, but the Dongping Forest Park had 56,400 tourists, down 16 percent. Visitors to Zhujiajiao Ancient Town rose 4 percent to 400,000.
Shopping accounted for more than a third — 36 percent — of spending.
The number of travelers passing through Hongqiao and Pudong airports between September 30 and October 7 jumped 6.6 percent to 874,000 from a year ago.
Travel agencies in the city organized a total of 104,000 outbound tourists, surging 62.4 percent.
But the number of visitors to Shanghai between October 1 and October 4 fell 2 percent from the same period last year to about 5.2 million, due to rainy and overcast weather, officials said.
The number of people visiting the city’s parks rose 1.8 percent, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said.
Mild temperatures and sunny weather in the second half of the holiday boosted the figure, the bureau said, adding the peak was from last Tuesday to Saturday.
The city’s parks hosted a variety of activities, from an autumn flower and butterfly exhibition to a forest beer festival and a folk festival, spurring visitor numbers, the bureau said.
Landscape lights illuminated the city during the holiday, and nine areas such as People’s Square and the Bund were spruced up with flowers and landscaping.
Not everyone’s happy
But the city’s consumer watchdog saw a 14 percent jump in complaints, to 1,341.
Most were about accommodation, express deliveries and services such as shared bikes, the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said.
Almost 200 of those complaints were about dining, accommodation and tourism services, the bureau said. The biggest areas of complaint were online booking, accommodation not living up to promises and sub-standard guides.
One tourist who bought a package to the popular Thai resort island of Phuket complained the guide did not pick him up at the airport as promised.
Another, who bought a package to Tokyo and Osaka online, said the hotel did not match its online description, the bureau said.
The bureau did not name the online platforms involved.
Rental bikes and express delivery services also drew many complaints, largely over fee disputes, deposit returns and faulty bikes.
The number of complaints about express delivery jumped 42 percent.
Delays and missing or broken items topped the list.
On the last day of the holiday, the city’s railway stations continued to see a flood of people returning home.
About 450,000 passengers were expected to arrive by train — 130,000 more than those who left by rail. Extra services were added on Metro lines 2 and 10 to cope with the influx.
In addition to the temporary extended timetable for Metro trains departing from Hongqiao railway station, the operator also added extra train trains to service Pudong International Airport.