Hotels busy, spending up during tourism festival

Hu Min
Shanghai's cultural and tourism industry had a strong rebound during the 2020 Shanghai Tourism Festival.
Hu Min

Shanghai's cultural and tourism industry had a strong rebound during the 2020 Shanghai Tourism Festival, the city's authorities announced on Sunday.

During the 16-day festival which ended on Sunday, the average occupancy rate of hotels in Shanghai hit 64 percent, growing 8 percent from the same period last month, and it is 65.5 percent this week, a rise of 3.4 percent, the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism announced.

The sales revenue of the city's hospitality industry surged 21.6 percent during the festival from the same period last year, the first positive growth since the COVID-19 epidemic.

The ticket sales of cultural performances grew 9.6 percent in the city during the festival from the same period last year, and it was 4.4 times growth for the animation and games industry.

Tourist attractions in the city received 3.5 million visits during the festival, soaring 28 percent from the same period last month.

The number of tourists the city welcomed during the festival soared 39 percent between September 12 and 25 from the same period last year, and it was a 96 percent increase from the same period last month, the administration said, citing figures from online travel operator

From September 12 to 27, the consumption of tourism, catering, and entertainment in Shanghai hit 31.97 billion yuan (US$4.69 billion), rising 35 percent from the same period last month.

"Under combined efforts from authorities, enterprises, Internet platforms and residents and tourists, the festival proved to be a safe, orderly and splendid event," Yu Xiufen, director of the administration, told a press conference on Sunday.

"During the festival, the city's cultural and tourism industry maintained good recovery momentum."

For the first time in the festival's history which was in its 31st version, sub-venues were set up in three cities of the Yangtze River Delta region, Nantong, Wenzhou and Huangshan, and nearly 100 activities were launched as part of the festival, attracting more than 8 million people.

Over 20,000 Yangtze River Delta region annual tour passes enabling entries to tourist attractions in Shanghai and 17 cities in the region have been sold in 12 days, according to the administration.

In Shanghai, a total of 156 activities were organized citywide for the festival, and nearly 500 tourism routes were released, covering a wide range of areas from culture to shopping, architecture to food.

Activities targeting the young were launched with the release of wanghong (online celebrity) visiting places and a combination of online and offline activities, said Yu.

"Online tour guides and offline visits has become new models of the city's cultural and tourism experiences," she said.

During the festival, nearly 40 tourism promotions by cities in the delta region and Tianjin, Shandong Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were held in the city, allowing residents in Shanghai to have a virtual tour, Yu said.

With the opening of the eastern extension of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall during the opening ceremony of the festival, the instantaneous flow on the pedestrian mall surpassed 36,000 visits on the night of September 12 with shopping malls reporting a big increase in sales volume.

Among them, the Shanghai New World Daimaru witnessed a 425 percent surge of sales volume on September 12 from September 5, also a Saturday, according to the administration.

The traffic at the Nanjing Road E. Metro Station grew 16 percent on September 12 from a normal weekend day. 

Four business circles in the city reported a 5.2 percent increase of sales revenue on the day from the same day last year. In Huangpu District, the growth hit 26.6 percent, according to the administration.  

"The spillover effect of the festival will continue, as the city has prepared a wide range of high-quality cultural and tourism products and services during the upcoming National Day holiday and Mid-Autumn Festival," said Yu.

The festival also displayed Red tourism, haipai (Shanghai-style) tourism and Jiangnan tourism, said Yu.

Cheng Meihong, deputy director of the administration, said the city has prepared 141 activities during the National Day holiday, blending culture, fashion and countryside tourism.

Traditional Chinese opera performance at Fengjing Ancient Town, intangible cultural heritage performance at Guilin Park, a world music festival at Xintiandi, and a food festival at Haichang Ocean Park are on the agenda, said Cheng.

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