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September 10, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Tourism center stage

THE entertainment extravaganza that is the Shanghai Tourism Festival begins on Saturday and lasts for almost a month.

Tour packages focusing on 2010 World Expo would go on sale at the festival, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said yesterday.

The gala opening ceremony will be held on Saturday afternoon at the Happy Valley amusement park in Songjiang District.

At 7:30pm, the time-honored float parade will be held on Huaihai Road, between Xizang Road S. and Shaanxi Road S, a distance of 2.2 kilometers.

Twenty-two floats will be featured at the parade, with seven from overseas countries, including Malaysia and Thailand.

Performance teams from nine countries "will also bring the audience a visual feast at the parade," according to the administration.

As a promotion, tourists can select their favorite eight scenic spots and their 10 pet night landscapes in Shanghai.

Competition participants have the chance to win a free trip.

The selected scenic spots and night landscapes would be promoted to visitors during the 2010 World Expo, officials said.

City agencies will start to promote Expo-related tourism packages during the festival. The packages will take in the Expo site, scenic spots in Shanghai and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.

The administration said festival events had traditionally been centered in downtown, but this year the suburbs were playing a key role to disperse people in a bid to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu.

The city will also strengthen health checks on tourists coming to the city during the festival.

For the first half of the year, more than 2.9 million tourists from overseas came to Shanghai, down nearly 11 percent from the same period last year.

However, in July more than 542,300 tourists came to the city, up 6.3 percent from July, 2008.

"As the RMB has been rather firm recently, foreign tourists tended to rush to countries whose currency depreciated during the global economic downturn," said Dao Shuming, director of the tourism administration.


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