Sun shines on Shanghai's holiday visitors
Pleasant weather, the waning COVID-19 situation and flower shows brought out the crowds during the three-day Qingming Festival holiday.
The city recorded almost 9 million visits by tourists during the holiday, generating a revenue of 4.1 billion yuan (US$624 million). The average occupancy rate of hotels in the city was 52.8 percent, up 33 percent from the same period last year, according to the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.
With the pandemic under control, residents and tourists were enthusiastic about spring tours and flower appreciation was their top option, the administration said.
The city's countryside parks were crowded, with some suburban attractions such as Zhujiajiao watertown particularly busy, the administration said.
Shanghai’s 170 major tourist attractions recorded 3.97 million visits in total, surging 132 percent from the same period last year.
Shanghai Wild Animal Park had 89,000 visits, Zhujiajiao ancient town 77,800, Chenshan Botanical Garden 111,400 and Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park 91,000.
Shanghai Science and Technology Museum welcomed 45,000 visitors and there were 234,000 at the Shanghai International Resort, where the Disneyland is located.
The Bund, Yuyuan Garden and Lujiazui scenic areas recorded 489,200, 249,500 and 360,100 visits, growing 95.83 percent, 618.88 percent and 70.12 percent from last year respectively.
The city's riverfront areas of the Huangpu River spanning five districts received a combined 1.55 million visits during the holiday, and 27,900 people enjoyed Huangpu River cruise tours.
Forty-three art galleries in the city hosted 82 exhibitions during the holiday, attracting 50,000 visits, a 571-percent surge from the same period in 2020.
Parks across Shanghai had 2.355 million visits in total during the holiday, up 25.96 percent from the same period last year, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.
Countryside parks had 242,400 visits, soaring 85 percent from 2020.
The travel peak was on Sunday, hitting 939,000.
Shanghai Botanical Garden had 173,420 visits, and Gongqing Forest Park received more than 110,000.
“There's nothing more pleasant than a picnic in a park under the sunny and balmy weather although it was difficult to secure a place due to big crowds,” said city resident Zhang Yong who visited the Gongqing Forest Park during the holiday with his former classmates.
"There are people everywhere, but still, it is good to embrace nature," he said.
Zhang said he mostly stayed at home during the Spring Festival holiday due to the pandemic.
"There are queues everywhere no matter where you go, even at the toilets," said Cui Hong, another Shanghai resident who visited Shanghai Happy Valley.
Cui said she and her boyfriend needed to pay a second visit to experience more of its amusement attractions.
Shanghai-based online travel operator Trip.com said there had been a strong rebound in the domestic tourism market and the number of its air ticket orders saw double-digit growth from that of 2019.
Shanghai-Beijing, Beijing-Chengdu and Guangzhou-Shanghai were some of the most popular routes during the holiday.
The number of hotel bookings also increased more than 20 percent from 2019, with five-star hotel bookings seeing a 35 percent increase, and the number of tickets ordered for tourist attractions surged 232 percent from 2019, the website said.
Shanghai Disney Resort, Henan Museum, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, the Palace Museum and Longmen Grottoes were among the most popular destinations in China, it said.
Vehicle rental services and private tour groups were more popular due to the pandemic, it said.
Alibaba's travel site Fliggy said the number of orders of countryside minsu (B&Bs) during the holiday surged over 16 times compared with the same period last year, the growth rate surpassing normal hotels.
Minsu at Mogan Mountain, Qiandao Lake, Wuzhen watertown and Gulangyu scenic areas were particularly favored.
"Red tourism" and flower appreciation tours were popular options and 38 percent of those booking holiday itineraries on the site were born after 1995.
Bookings for "red tourism" destinations such as Zunyi, Yan’an, Nanchang, Jiaxing and Jinggang Mountain surged over 180 percent from the same period last year.