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Cruises are key to tourism

SHANGHAI will try to attract more overseas cruise lines and visitors by improving its port and its facilities as the State Council called on the city to boost the development of its cruise economy.

The State Council said Shanghai should regulate its cruise industry and encourage overseas cruise companies to launch routes to the city.

More than 150,000 cruise passengers and 112 Chinese and foreign cruise ships crossed local ports last year, up 17 and 10 percent from a year earlier, respectively.

Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, which opened last August, contributed to the growth, said the local port authority.

The cruise terminal on the north Bund in Hongkou District now handles 80 percent of the city's cruise liners. The district said yesterday it is hoping to expand the terminal. Officials said they hoped to boost consumption by cruise visitors by offering better commercial facilities close to the port.

A survey conducted last year claimed foreign cruise tourists spend 30 percent more on shopping when they come ashore compared to visitors who arrive by air and land.

A second cruise terminal under construction in Baoshan District is due to open in April 2010.


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