Shanghai's culture, tourism industry bounces back from pandemic

Hu Min
Hundreds of exhibitions and performances will be staged during the second half of the year, as more art venues resume operation.
Hu Min

More than 300 exhibitions will be held in Shanghai in the second half of this year as cultural venues in the city gradually resume operation, a senior official with the city's cultural and tourism authorities revealed on Tuesday.

On the list is an exhibition at the Shanghai Museum featuring 168 artifacts from the Batu Hitam shipwreck, an Arabian merchant vessel which sank during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and a red heritage exhibition at Shanghai History Museum, according to the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.

An exhibition featuring works of Japanese Ukiyo-e masters is scheduled at the Shanghai World Expo Museum in late November, while several other venues such as the China Arts Museum and Liu Haisu Art Museum will host haipai (Shanghai-style) art exhibitions.

About 20 theaters, out of 124 in the city, have resumed performances, and more than 500 performances will be staged in July and August, according to the administration.

"Disinfection is conducted twice daily, and audiences are required to wear masks, have their temperatures taken and their health QR codes checked," Yu Xiufen, director of the administration, told a radio program on Tuesday.

Theaters have been ordered to keep their visitor numbers below 30 percent of capacity, said Yu.

Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of the city's cultural and tourism industries have resumed operation, according to Yu.

All public libraries and cultural pavilions in the city have reopened, together with 100 A-level tourist attractions and nearly 200 museums and art galleries.

"We introduced a staggered-reservation system during the epidemic, which also helps improve the experience of visitors and will be promoted in the long term," said Yu.

Nearly 6,000 hotels and 1,400 travel agencies in the city have also resumed operation.

More than 4,000 performances were canceled in the first half of this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

About 13,700 tour groups organized by travel agencies in the city have been canceled, affecting 266,700 tourists.

The epidemic generated about 30,000 refund disputes, and more than 95 percent have been solved, according to the administration.

Shanghai's cultural and tourism authorities are also boosting financial support to help enterprises recover from the coronavirus outbreak.

So far, 71 cultural and tourism enterprises in the city have received 330 million yuan (US$46.68 million) of loans, and 1,150 travel agencies have been returned quality assurance deposits totaling 420 million yuan as temporary relief, according to Yu.

The deposits are used to compensate tourists in disputes over contracts or situations such as a travel agency going bankrupt. The return is a temporary measure and the full deposit should be paid back before February 5, 2022.

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