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October 12, 2013

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Plan for seamless waterway tourism

The city’s authorities plan to build a new waterway tourism dock near Waibaidu Bridge to develop and revitalize a sightseeing route along the Suzhou Creek after tourism on the creek waned.

The plan is to connect sightseeing tours from the Huangpu River with those of Suzhou Creek by adding a dock near the Waibaidu Bridge where tourists could board and disembark cruise ships, according to the city’s transport authorities.

A total of 15 smaller docks will be set up at Huangpu, Zhabei, Jing’an, Putuo and Changning districts, which the river flows through.

A waterway tourism blueprint of Suzhou Creek is being compiled to allow tourists to travel the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek seamlessly.

Cruises along the creek resumed in April last year after a one-year gap during which the waterway was being dredged. Tickets are available at docks on Danba Road and Changhua Road in Putuo District.

The new cruise covers 19 kilometers, compared to 10 kilometers previously, with a round trip taking three hours. It costs 200 yuan (US$31.75) for a round trip, while an evening cruise ticket is 230 yuan.

However, only 351 cruise services operated between last April and the end of last year, a drastic drop from 1,900 services between April 2010, when cruises first set sail on the creek, and January 2011. Cruise tickets don’t sell well and operators are running a deficit, according to Chen Min, a Shanghai legislator who has proposed a redevelopment of the Suzhou Creek tourism with other 16 local legislators.

Chen said there is a lack of a coordinated and comprehensive development mechanism because six districts through which the creek flows in downtown areas are developing tourism under their jurisdictions on their own. He also highlighted that business facilities near the creek are lagging, traffic near the Changhua Road Dock and Danba Road Dock is not convenient and there is a shortage of cruise boats, which all slow development of tourism on the creek.

Chen also suggested a watercourse route linking the river, the creek and Dianshan Lake, and building a tourist center with restaurants, hotels and as an industrial museum.


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