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September 23, 2009

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City prepares for holiday rush

SHANGHAI is gearing up for an eight-day rush during the National Day holiday period as authorities beef up security checks and formulate plans to cope with massive crowds.

About 1.3 million visitors are expected to travel via Shanghai's two major airports, a 9 percent increase from last year.

Aviation authorities also said yesterday that more than 14,500 flights, a 4 percent rise from last year, would land and take off at Hongqiao and Pudong international airports.

"There is no doubt that the city will face plenty of challenges in coming weeks," Shanghai Vice Mayor Zhao Wen said yesterday. "We should be fully prepared.

"The safety of visitors should be the top priority."

Each airline passenger will be subjected to security checks on luggage and carry-on bags for explosives, flammable items, chemical substances and dangerous goods.

Other cities from around China would also increase flights to the city during the holiday, authorities said.

Railway officials said that more than 2.18 million people were expected to travel through Shanghai's two main stations from September 28 to October 8, a 3.6 percent increase from last year.

The city's government said yesterday that it did not haveprojected numbers for coach-bus passengers expected during the holiday break.

It's a case of double happiness during the holiday as the People's Republic of China celebrates its 60th anniversary on October 1 and the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on October 3.

Tourists and residents of the city will also witness the spectacular closing ceremony of the Shanghai Tourism Festival on October 6.

The city government is setting up mechanisms to deal with visitors' complaints, including flight delays, accommodation problems and illegal travel agencies.

Shanghai Meteorological Bureau is required to regularly update weather forecasts during the holidays.

Police officers and firefighters are primed to respond to emergencies in the city and more traffic officers will be on duty to deal with jams.


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