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Shanghai draws big crowds on May Day

Tourists pose for photographs yesterday on the 259-meter-high transparent walkway in the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, one of the most popular destinations for tourists during the May Day holiday, when Shanghai attracted more than 2.45 million tourists, about 20,000 more than last year, according to the Shanghai Tourism Administration.Photograph byZhang Ming 

More than 2.45 million tourists came to the city during the May Day holiday, about 20,000 more than last year, said the Shanghai Tourism Administration.


Suburban areas were the most popular travel destinations for locals. Scenic spots in Jinshan, Nanhui, Jiading and Qingpu districts all welcomed 11 to 23 percent more visitors than last May Day holiday, the administration said.


Downtown, Century Park and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower were the most popular destinations, officials said.


However, numbers were down at the Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center, which saw about 30 percent less customers than last year's May Day holiday. Officials blamed the gloomy weather on Saturday and the economic downturn.


According to, China's major online travel company, Shanghai was the most popular travel destinations on China's mainland for the holiday, followed by Beijing. The company said the ranking was made according to the amount of airline tickets sold and hotel rooms booked.


During the three-day holiday, the city's entry and exit authority served more than 158,000 tourists, up 7.1 percent from a year ago.


More than 2,700 tourists departed from Pudong International Airport between 7am and 8:30am on May 1, according to Pudong's entry and exit authority.


More than 60 percent of outbound tourists over the entire holiday visited Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Taiwan lifted its daily cap on the number of mainland tourists visiting the island from 3,000 to 7,200 before the May Day holiday.


The number of inbound tourists, including foreigners and citizens of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, increased 9 percent from a year ago.


As several major roads linking Pudong airport are under renovation, some passengers missed their flights due to traffic jams. On each of the three days, there were nearly 50 passengers who missed flights from Terminal 1 of Pudong airport.


Meanwhile, Shanghai Railway Administration, which oversees railway stations across the Yangtze River Delta region, handled more than 1.27 million passengers on May 1, up 12.9 percent, or 146,000 people, from a year ago.


The administration's railway stations in Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Hefei and Changzhou set record highs for passenger numbers, officials said. The two major railway stations in Shanghai handled 257,000 passengers on May 1, while Suzhou's figure was 96,000. About 120,000 passengers launched their trips from railway stations in Nanjing on the same day. Meanwhile, 110,000 passengers set off from stations in Hangzhou.


Shanghai Railway Station on Sunday handled 240,000 passengers returning to the city from Yangtze River Delta region cities such as Nanjing, Hangzhou and Wuxi.


(Shanghai Daily May 4, 2009)