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May 4, 2014

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Sunshine drives city’s tourism boom

THE warm weather over the May Day holiday meant tourist attractions across Shanghai were packed to capacity, the city’s tourism authorities said yesterday.

Yuyuan Garden, the Nanjing Road pedestrian mall, the Bund and Xujiahui were among the most popular areas, attracting a combined 6.95 million visitors, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said.

Another major draw was Shanghai Wildlife Park in the Pudong New Area, where visitor numbers over the three days rose 214 percent from last year to 125,200.

The Oriental Pearl Tower also saw a spike in visitors, up 15 percent from last year to 69,000, as did Fengjing water town in Jinshan District, up 14 percent to 96,600, the administration said.

Visitor numbers at Shanghai Zoo and Jin Mao Tower rose by 142 and 29 percent respectively, it said.

A music, barbecue and camping festival at Chongming’s Dongping Forest Park helped swell the crowds by 52 percent from 2013 to 42,600, while the polar science exhibition at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum boosted visitor numbers by 45 percent to 68,200.

Despite the good news for the venues’ ticket offices, not everyone was happy about the massive crowds.

Shanghai resident Chen Yijun had only bad things to say about her day out at Gongqing Forest Park in Yangpu District, which hosted a flower show over the holiday.

First of all, her usual 20-minute drive to the park rose to almost two hours because of the heavy traffic, she said.

“When I finally arrived about 11:30am, the nightmare was just starting,” she said.

She said she was forced to leave her car almost 2 kilometers from the park because of the lack of spaces, and once inside, all of the barbecue spots were full.

When nature called, Chen had to queue for almost an hour for the toilet, while her daughter had to wait almost two hours for a 30 yuan (US$4.80) pony ride.

“In the end, we just gave up,” Chen said.

According to official figures, almost 2.7 million people descended on the city’s 161 parks over the holiday.



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