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April 12, 2011

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Pudong eyes Disney windfall

THE Pudong New Area plans to build new commercial facilities and revamp two traditional towns near Shanghai Disneyland in the next five years to boost tourism by keeping amusement park visitors on its side of the Huangpu River.

Other facilities, such as a shopping center that will include the country's biggest outlet mall, are also listed on Pudong's new commercial development blueprint, which was released yesterday.

"Disneyland is expected to attract 7.3 million visitors a year. Where will the visitors stay at night and where will they go during the day?" asked Chen Zhongmao, deputy director of Pudong New Area Commission of Commerce.

The commission found that many visitors to last year's World Expo stayed in Puxi due to the lack of sightseeing and commercial facilities in Pudong.

The government plans to remove the rice paddies around the future Disneyland site and build high-end tourist sites with a "local flavor" to keep amusement park guests in Pudong.

"Overseas tourists will be interested in the towns with distinct local culture," Chen said. "Disneyland embodies Western culture and the ancient towns represent Chinese culture - a perfect match."

One of the planned attractions is Xinchang Ancient Town, a water town more than 1,000-year-old where director Ang Lee filmed scenes for the film "Lust, Caution."

Beautifully carved wooden window frames and elaborately painted signboards are common sights along Xinchang's main street, which was first built during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Another attraction will be Hengmian Ancient Town, which remains relatively unknown among modern complexes.

Both towns will be given a face-lift.

The plan also calls for the restoration of cultural activities such as storytelling and pipa, a string instrument with a fretted fingerboard, performances.

Moreover, to compete with mature commercial magnets in Puxi, Pudong now plans to add about 700,000 square meters of commercial facilities, mostly retail space, annually through 2015.

A large-scale outlet mall, which will be accessible by Metro Line 2, will be built in Chuansha area by 2013.

It will be about 10 kilometers from Disneyland and close to Pudong International Airport.

"The excellent geographic position and convenient transportation facilities will help the outlet mall attract locals and tourists," Chen said.

The government has invited US-based Chelsea Property Group, Japan-based Mitsui and Italian fashion retail giant RDM to draft a blueprint for the outlet mall.


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