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Regional tourism enjoys Expo spinoff

WHEN Zhao Jingshu came to Shanghai from Liaoning Province to see World Expo 2010, her plan also included seeing Suzhou and Hangzhou.

She brought her parents and cousin and they visited the Expo site for one and a half days, then toured neighboring cities for two days.

The scenic spots in the other two cities were more enjoyable than she expected, plus they didn't have to spend time queuing, she said.

Zhao and her family were not the only ones who thought of traveling around the Yangtze River Delta region when visiting Shanghai for the Expo.

Major tourism resorts in the region have all reported increasing tourist numbers during the two holidays since May.

Suzhou Tourism Administration said that about 10 percent of tourists during the May Day holiday were Expo visitors. The city received more than 2.8 million visitors during the break, up 22 percent on the same period last year. Tourism revenue increased by about 25 percent.

As for Hangzhou, the past Dragon Boat Festival holiday saw tourist volumes increase about 10 percent over last year and revenues were up by about 12 percent.

"Almost all the surrounding cities have told us that the Expo has effected tourism," said Dao Shuming, director of Shanghai Tourism Administration. "We expect more tourists will go to the region for a trip in the coming summer holidays because they will have plenty of time."

Meanwhile, hotel prices have risen since May because of increased demand. According to, China's major online travel service company, hotel room prices are around 10 percent higher than before Expo started.

Shanghai's hotel prices have climbed between 20 to 30 percent since Expo began. Other cities leading the increases include Hangzhou and Yangzhou.

Tourism authorities believe that the tour packages tailored for Expo visitors have successfully attracted tourists.

Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces have designed 55 Expo packages, which include almost all the tourism resorts in the provinces, including heritage and agriculture attractions.


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