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April 8, 2014

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Fun-loving families sweep up the sunshine

TOURIST attractions across the city reported record visitor numbers over the three-day Qingming Festival holiday as locals took advantage of the warm weather to have some fun in the sun.

It is traditional for families to enjoy a spring outing — or taqing — after paying their respects to their ancestors on tomb-sweeping day, tourism authorities said yesterday.

At Shanghai Wildlife Park in the Pudong New Area the number of visitors over the three days rose almost 350 percent from last year to 79,800, the Shanghai Tourism Administration said. It was a similar story at Dongping Forest Park in Chongming Island, where visitor numbers rose 200 percent to 27,600, and at Fengjing Water Town in Jinshan District, where they jumped 24 percent to 67,100.

Likewise, Jinjiang Amusement Park, Happy Valley, Century Park and Shanghai World Financial Center all reported 100 percent increases in visitor numbers.

Attractions with a floral theme also drew the crowds, the administration said, with the Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival in Nanhui area, Cherry Blossom Festival in Gucun Park and Rape Flower Festival in Fengxian District reporting a combined 570,000 tourists.

In terms of sheer numbers, however, the top four places were the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall and Xujiahui, which saw a combined 7.26 million visitors, it said.

According to the Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center, the most popular destinations in and around Shanghai for day trippers were the Oriental Land park in Qingpu District, the Shanghai Flower Port in Pudong, Zhouzhuang Water Town in Jiangsu Province and Xitang Old Town in Zhejiang Province.

According to Shanghai Television, the volume of vehicles using expressways into the city yesterday rose more than 20 percent from last year, with the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway, Shanghai-Chongqing Expressway and Shanghai-Kunming Expressway the worst affected.

Rail authorities said passenger numbers rose 30 percent yesterday, while the city’s long-distance bus station said it laid on more than 400 extra trips to help people on their way.

As for tomb-sweeping activities, the number of visitors to Shanghai’s 54 cemeteries and columbaria between March 29 and yesterday rose 11.5 percent year on year to 8.3 million, while the number of urns interred in the period rose 1 percent to 10,567, officials said.

Yesterday alone, the number of cemetery visitors fell 14 percent from last year to 415,800, while the number of urns interred dropped 40 percent to 250, officials said.


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