Shanghai aims for more international visitors

Hu Min
Blueprint through to 2025 involves closing the numbers gap with major overseas cities via tax incentives, digital service advantages and major tour upgrades.
Hu Min

Shanghai authorities mapped out the city's cultural and tourism development blueprint through 2025 on Friday.

The city will further boost the convenience of consumption for international tourists, said Shang Yuying, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai government.

Shanghai tops the national list in terms of the number of inbound tourists staying overnight in the city, but there is still a gap compared with world-famous tourist cities such as Paris, London and New York and many inbound tourists to Shanghai were on business trips, said Shang.

The city will step up efforts to attract international tourists, she said.

"Efforts involving expansion of the tax refund scheme and increases in designated tax refund shops as well as digital payments for inbound tourists will be made," said Shang.

Also, a digital approach will be taken to empower the city's tourism development.

Under the plan, 600 "digital hotels" featuring 30-second check-in, zero-second check-out, and intelligent room control services with simple clicks will be established in the city within this year.

Digital tourist attractions and cultural venues are also planned.

The iconic Huangpu River cruise tours will be upgraded and tourism in the five "new cities" and "red" tourism, countryside tourism and industrial tourism will be significantly developed over the next five years, said Fang Shizhong, director of Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.

"The Huangpu River cruise tour will be developed into a must-see and must-tour world-class itinerary, and scenic spots, museums and art galleries across the city are encouraged to host night tour activities to help city residents and tourists experience the city's glamour," said Fang.

"Water tourist programs involving Suzhou Creek, Dianshan Lake, Dishui Lake and Dianpu Lake will be developed and supporting tourist facilities at the city's countryside parks will be improved," said Fang.

Moreover, the city will develop tourism clusters highlighting haipai (Shanghai-style) culture based on architecture, and the Jiangnan culture theme around ancient water towns.

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