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Tourism authorities prepare for boom times

The Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center and Chongming tourism agencies have developed new packages to include the Shanghai Changjiang tunnel-bridge.

Chongming tourism authorities said luxurious hotels would soon appear on the island.

The Chongming County Tourism Bureau said its industry was expected to boom after the opening.

More than 3 million people are expected to visit the island during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, about treble the number of this year, according to officials.

"Chongming Island, which has rich tourism resources, will now become more appealing to downtown people," said Shen Li, an official with the center.

Chongming tourism agencies said they would talk to counterparts in the downtown area and surrounding provinces to organize tour groups to the island. Tourists who drive to the island and backpackers would also be accommodated, they said.

"Our packages will include almost all the main scenic spots," said an official with the Tongle Travel Service Co Ltd.

The east coast wetland on Chongming Island is the best place in Shanghai to watch migratory birds.

Visitors can also enjoy countryside retreats on real farms.

The most famous island products are rice wine and hairy crabs.