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May 10, 2012

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Half-price day looms at 37 tourist sites

A total of 37 tourist sites in Shanghai will offer 50 percent discounts for visitors on May 19 to mark the second "China Tourism Day."

Popular sightseeing spots such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Wildlife Park and Happy Valley are on the list, said the Shanghai Tourism Administration.

Some sites, including the Happy Valley, anticipate huge visitor volume and will prolong their opening hours.

The administration said that because the day falls on Saturday this year, the guest volume is expected to swell. Tourists should be fully prepared for big crowds and perhaps hot weather. Officials suggest people avoid extremely popular sites in the rush hours.

Last year on May 19, tourism sites that provided half-off discounts welcomed a booming visitor flow. People started to line up at the gates not long after sunrise.

Tourists said yesterday that they expect to enjoy the relatively inexpensive admission fees, but they know they are going to meet with a rush.

"Last year my parents went to some of the sightseeing spots on the discount day," said Estel Zhao, a Shanghai resident. "And they felt exhausted as most of their time was spent on lining in queues, like what happened during the World Expo (in 2010)."

Tourists said the admission fee for sites in Shanghai are too high. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower charges 150 yuan (US$23.70) to go to the observatory platform, while the Shanghai Wildlife Park requires admission of 135 yuan.

The tourism administration said it encouraged the attractions to give discounts so people can enjoy them more often.


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