The streets of Shanghai may have been eerily empty during Spring Festival as millions return home for family celebrations, but that didn’t stop the major tourist spots from welcoming an abundant crowd. Almost 4.5 million tourists visited Shanghai during the holiday period, bringing as much as RMB4.94 billion (UD780 million) in revenue.
Yu Garden was among the most popular attraction over the past seven days with their extremely popular Lantern Festival. By putting on a dazzling display of assorted lanterns, it not only adds to the festival feel, but also draws a large number of tourists, local and international alike.
On Saturday, the third day of the holiday, the festival broke a previous record by attracting 260,000 visitors. “We thought there would be less people now that it is raining,” says Yao, one of the tourists. “Despite the crowd, we are still enjoying ourselves with dog-shaped lanterns and delicious snacks.”
It is estimated that approximately 1.71 million tourists visited Yu Garden during the holiday period, and more are expected on March 2, the official day of the Lantern Festival.
Shanghai Disney is also a magnet for tourists. On the fourth day and fifth day of CNY, ticket sales were suspended due to the enormous number of people at the park. Together, with other attractions in the Shanghai International Resort, Shanghai Disney entertained over 240,000 visitors through the weeklong holiday.
In addition to these high-volume tourist locations, visitors also flocked to other destinations around town. They welcomed 140,000 to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, 240,000 to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (including Shanghai Natural History Museum) and 130,000 to the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.
Although the Spring Festival travel season, also known as the largest annual human migration, isn’t officially complete until March 12, the past few days have seen many return to the city as the break came to an end.
Yesterday, over 490,000 passengers arrived in Shanghai via the three major train stations in the city; 152,000 from Shanghai Railway Station, 71,000 from Shanghai South Railway Station and 266,000 from Hongqiao Railway Station. To manage this sudden increase of tourists, 52 additional trains were arranged.
Shanghai’s Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport also managed an excessive number of passengers. Yesterday, Pudong Airport alone handled almost 37,000 travelers. To accelerate the entry and exit procedures, both airports opened self-service E-Channels for tourists with biometric passports, where the entire process is complete in 10 seconds.
On the roads, getting a taxi has become an obstacle for those coming out of the station. Although the city’s major taxi firms dispatched 30,000 additional taxis to the main transport hubs, the demand still surpassed the supply as tourists piled up outside the station’s exits.
The authority has advised that this peak in travelers and the demand on transport will continue until February 25.