Mickey and Minnie lure more tourists to Shanghai

The first evaluation report on the Disney and the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone projects shows positive effects on the city's economic and social developments.

Fun and games — and good business, too.

The Shanghai Disney project has helped to attract tourists, boost jobs as well as drive the urban development of central Pudong, the city government’s think tank said yesterday.

Shanghai Information Center released the first evaluation report on the Disney and Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone projects, focusing on their effect in driving the city’s economic and social development.

“With the help of the projects in Pudong’s Chuansha Town, Shanghai became one of the most popular tourism destinations among mainland cities during the National Day holiday in October,” Yu Wenkai, director with the center told the Yangtze Delta Cities Tourism Development Forum.

The city received a total of 305 million tourists in 2016, up 7.42 percent from 2015, Yu said.

Some 11 million people have visited Shanghai Disneyland during its first year operation from June 2016 — an average of 40,000 visitors a day, Yu said.

The international tourism zone, where Disneyland is sited, has received over 27 million people from April 2016 through to the end of last month, according to the zone’s management committee.

“About 65 percent of visitors to Shanghai Disneyland came from outside Shanghai. The visitors spent an average of 10 hours inside the theme park,” Yu said.

Dong Jun / SHINE

A pumpkin decoration is displayed at Shanghai Disney Resort for its Halloween season.

The Disney attraction is credited with pushing more tourists to other tourism spots. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, for instance, recorded a 16.9 percent rise of visitors last year. 

The golden week holidays are especially lucrative for Disney. Over 60 percent of new tourists to the city went to Disneyland during the National Day holiday in 2016, and the number soared to 90 percent during the Chinese New Year holiday, according to the report.

That contributed to a 9 percent increase on the city’s tourism revenue, which reached 382 billion yuan (US$57.5 billion) last year.

Moreover, the construction and operation of the Shanghai Disney project has created 626,000 new jobs for the city between 2011 and 2016. The city’s GDP has also been boosted by 0.44 percent thanks to the project, Yu said.

The report proposed to further incorporate the Disney standard with local practices to make the tourism zone the first choice for both out-of-town and local tourists.

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