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Inbound tourists surpass 8.5 million today

SHANGHAI welcomed the year's 8.5 millionth overseas tourist today -- a new milestone for the city's travel industry.

The lucky visitor, James Cavanagh, 29, arrived from Australia with his parents by the cruise ship, Ocean Princess.

Shanghai Tourism Administration held a welcome ceremony this morning at the Shanghai International Passenger Terminal. Dao Shuming, director of the administration, gave Cavanagh a certificate and a set of Expo 2010 commemorative coins.

"I'm very surprised to be the 8.5 millionth visitor of the year," said Cavanagh. "This is my first time to be in Shanghai and I hope I can enjoy my time here."

Cavanagh will stay in the city for just one day and then go to Hong Kong by Ocean Princess.

Local tourism officials attributed this year's boom in tourist arrivals to the Expo. The city's inbound tourist number hit 6 million in 2006, but after that, the market suffered from the global financial crisis and the A-H1N1 influenza.

"After the Expo we hope Shanghai tourism can keep up the momentum," said Dao. "We'll design different packages for different people. Tourists from all places and with all backgrounds can find what they want in the city."


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