Huangpu sightseeing cruise trips to be extended

Sightseeing cruise trips on the Huangpu River will be extended and tourists will be able to get off at several piers during the tour.

Sightseeing cruise trips on the Huangpu River will be extended and tourists will be able to get off at several piers during the tour, according to the local tourism authority.

Diversified new cruise itineraries on the river are being designed and developed based on distance length, allowing tourists to explore the glamour of attractions along the 45-kilometer waterfront of the river, Xu Weiwan, director of the Shanghai Tourism Administration, revealed on Wednesday.

The long-distance itineraries will probably string Fuxing Island and Xupu Bridge, with the medium-distance tour being from the Shanghai Fashion Center in Yangpu District to Lupu Bridge, she said.

"At present, most tours on the landmark river are cruise tours at night. We are considering connecting tours on land and water trips, with day tours to be developed as well," Xu added.

The current water tours on the river cover a distance of 9 kilometers and run between Yangpu and Lupu bridges. The new route will be stretched in both directions.

Supporting facilities such as toilets, parking, shared bikes and tourist signs along the waterfront will also be developed, according to Xu.

"The architecture at the Bund is not the only attraction along the waterfront as a number of industrial remains, arts and culture museums and exhibition halls are also located here, which we want to showcase to domestic and foreign tourists," she said.

The function of 20 of the tourist public service centers in the city will also be expanded with maternal and infant rooms and probably free Wi-Fi rentals, according to the administration. 

Smart multilingual devices are also in the works.

"At present, the main function of these centers is providing information and maps. In the future, they will become intelligent (kiosks), incorporating smart applications like turning mobile phones into navigators and electronic tour guides."

Xu said the tourism sign system in the city will also be improved for the convenience of overseas tourists.

Shanghai received 8.73 million inbound tourists last year, a record high, and the target is 9 million by 2020.

Tourism revenue reached 448.5 billion yuan (US$68.92 billion) last year, up 15.7 percent from a year earlier.

The city had 101 A-level scenic spots and 229 star hotels by the end of last year.

It had built or renovated 455 toilets serving tourists in the past three years and had developed about 170 tourism routes by the end of last year.

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