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October 8, 2011

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Millions generate billions for Shanghai over holiday period

Although tourist volumes in Shanghai during the National Day holiday were below last October's "golden week," revenue from tourism was about the same, according to the Shanghai Tourism Administration.

More than 6.5 million tourists came to the city for the holiday, about 20 percent less than last year but 13 percent higher than 2009.

Officials attributed last year's high figure to the holiday coinciding with the 2010 World Expo.

Revenue from tourism reached about 6 billion yuan (US$940 million), slightly more than last year, officials said. Tourists took advantage of discounts offered by stores and restaurants.

The Expo's China Pavilion was the most popular sightseeing venue, officials said. More than 314,800 people visited the pavilion and there were long queues every day.

Suburban areas also attracted high tourist volumes - Fengxian, Qingpu and Jiading districts each had more than 400,000 visitors, said the tourism administration.

There was heavy traffic yesterday as visitors left and residents returned ready to start work today.

Traffic authorities said they expected downtown traffic to run smoothly today as some people remain on holiday.

They warned that traffic would be heavier on Monday.

Rail operators said the tickets for bullet train services to Shanghai from Beijing, Hangzhou and Nanjing were selling quickly yesterday afternoon.

There were extra bus services to handle the heavier traffic, according to officials at Shanghai South Long-Distance Bus Station.

They said the total passenger volume at the station was lower than the same period last year, but there was nonetheless a single-day record volume last Saturday.

There were also huge passenger numbers at the city's airports over the holiday. Immigration authorities said many chose to go overseas. About 240,000 people left the country through the two airports, about the same as the Spring Festival in early February.

Railway police said yesterday they had arrested a man for producing counterfeit railway tickets to take advantage of the National Day holiday.

A 24-year-old man, surnamed Yuan, allegedly confessed to setting up a ticket production workshop in an apartment in Baoshan District. Police raided the workshop, seizing 74 tickets with a book value of more than 20,000 yuan, after catching him selling a ticket to a traveler on Wednesday. His fake no-seat ticket cost about 50 yuan more than the price of a genuine one, police said.

Yuan is said to have used a computer, a printer and a cutting machine to produce the counterfeits, police said.


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