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6 million spend holiday in Shanghai

Date: 2012-10-07

More than 6 million people visited Shanghai during the eight-day public holiday for Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, the local government announced Sunday.

The influx of tourists gave a boost to the city's economy as retail sales and hotel revenue grew over those of the previous year's holiday.

The number of visitors to local tourist attractions and sightseeing spots rose 21 percent over last year's National Day holiday to 7.9 million, according to the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau. Due to the proximity of the two public holidays this year, residents had one more day off than last year.

About 2.15 million people took trains to the city over the last eight days, while a combined 860,000 passengers flew into either Shanghai Pudong International Airport or Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, according to the tourism bureau.

More than 2 million people drove into Shanghai during the holiday, according to a press release from the Shanghai Commercial Economic Research Center (SCERC). Due to the extended holiday, the central government exempted passenger vehicles with fewer than seven seats from highway tolls from September 30 to Sunday.

The increase in tourists was a boon for retail sales in the city, SCERC said. Because of the ongoing Shanghai Shopping Festival and the numerous sales that stores held during the holiday, retail sales in the city rose 9 percent year-on-year to 6.4 billion yuan ($1.01 billion), according to data SCERC collected from 395 local shopping venues. About 70 percent of sales revenues came from department stores, shopping centers and chain supermarkets.

Tourists favored shopping hot spots such as Huaihai Road, Nanjing Road and Yuyuan Garden, SCERC said.

Restaurant and hotel revenues during the holiday grew 24 percent year-on-year to 950 million yuan.

About 7 million Shanghai residents left the city to travel to other parts of China, 4 million of whom left in a car. Some 280,000 flew abroad during the holiday, according to the Shanghai Frontier Inspection Station.

Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand were the most popular destinations for domestic travelers, accounting for more than 50 percent of the total outbound tourist traffic.