BY SILVI WRITER
Shanghai is aiming to be a world class tourist destination, while one of the key measures will be turning itself to be a key desination of “red tourism”.
The city was the birthplace of the Chinese Communist Party, back in July 1921.
The location, a small brick house in a narrow alley in the city centre, has long been a desination for domestic tourists. But it’s less known for foreign visitors.
Shanghai released a document on Thursday with 30 guidelines to boost the tourism industry, according to China Daily.
The guidelines suggest that the city should tap into its resources－its industrial heritage and high-end medical services, as well as its being the birthplace of the Communist Party of China, a shopping destination and a major exhibition center in East Asia－to develop various tourism products.
The guidelines made clear that Shanghai is set to increase its tourism revenue from 448 billion yuan ($65.6 billion) in 2017 to 600 billion yuan in 2020.
In 2017, the city received 8.73 million inbound travelers. That number is expected to reach 10 million by 2020 and 14 million by 2035, when the city is expected to grow into a world-class tourism city.
Xu Weiwan, director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, said: “Compared with other world-leading tourism cities such as Paris, London and Tokyo, we still have a long way to go.”
For example, as one of the world’s most visited cities, Paris welcomed 15.6 million international visitors in 2013. “We’ve come to recognize many shortcomings, such as the lack of multilingual services and the inconvenience of consumption and transportation,” Xu said.
The guidelines suggest that the city should tap into its resources－its industrial heritage and high-end medical services, as well as its being the birthplace of the Communist Party of China, a shopping destination and a major exhibition center in East Asia－to develop various tourism products
Shanghai aims to transform “every corner of the city into scenery”, the guidelines said. For example, the city will deepen its efforts to make each of its historic buildings “readable” to visitors so they can learn about the various elements inside by scanning QR codes on building facades and listening to audio clips.
A focus will be placed on areas along the Huangpu River, the mother river that meanders through the city and beside which it has thrived, the document said.
Earlier this year, the municipality completed the renovation of 45 kilometers of riverside as part of its efforts to build it into a world-class tourism destination.
The city also plans to develop more cruise tours along the river, which attracted 2.25 million passengers in 2017. In the next three years, that number is expected to grow to 6 million, the municipal government said in May.
The city will also make efforts to improve facilities surrounding Shanghai Disney Resort to attract more visitors.
Rural tourism, homestays, sports and leisure and medical tourism will also be integrated into the industry’s overall development, Xu added.