Shang­hai tourism zone’s ex­pan­sion plan OK’D

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By SHI JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Tourism and Re­sorts Zone, which will in­clude the Shang­hai Dis­ney­land theme park, will be big­ger than ini­tially planned af­ter the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment ap­proved an ex­pan­sion plan in mid-De­cem­ber.

Lo­cated in the center of East Shang­hai’s Pudong dis­trict, the zone will cover a to­tal area of 24.7 square kilo­me­ters, com­pared with the 20.6 sq km ini­tially planned.

The main area, cov­er­ing about 7 sq km, will have the Dis­ney­land theme park as its core as well as other tourism, cul­tural and re­tail ar­eas. The re­main­ing 17.7 sq km will mainly have sup­port fa­cil­i­ties.

There will be a sta­tion for sub­way lines 2 and 11 in the cen­tral area of the zone, and fu­ture plans for other sub­way lines around the area de­pend on pas­sen­ger flow.

Pudong dis­trict au­thor­i­ties said that about 10 mil­lion tourists an­nu­ally will visit the Dis­ney­land theme park, which will pro­vide great busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties to com­pa­nies in neigh­bor­ing ar­eas.

The in­for­ma­tion of­fice of the Shang­hai mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment said in a note posted on its Sina Weibo ac­count that a new in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment model will emerge af­ter the es­tab­lish­ment of the Dis­ney­land theme park.

Mean­while, as the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Tourism and Re­sorts Zone is reach­ing fur­ther south, it’s get­ting ge­o­graph­i­cally closer to the China ( Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone. In­dus­try in­sid­ers be­lieve that the com­bi­na­tion of the two zones will help to at­tract over­seas travel agen­cies, as the na­tion’s tourism in­dus­try is open to for­eign in­vest­ment in the form of joint ven­tures reg­is­tered in the FTZ.

“We’re pre­pared for this kind of chal­lenge,” said Mao Wei­hai, a sales man­ager at Shang­hai Busi­ness Hol­i­day Travel Ser­vice Co Ltd, adding that they’ve been pre­par­ing for the launch of the tourism zone for about 10 years.

Mao added that the es­tab­lish­ment of over­seas travel agen­cies is in­evitable, first in the FTZ and then in other ar­eas when those ex­per­i­ments be­come suc­cess­ful. And even though over­seas travel agen­cies will en­ter the mar­ket in Shang­hai in the form of joint ven­tures at the very be­gin­ning, the move will sig­nal a shift in the coun­try’s tourism in­dus­try, Mao said.

“As Chi­nese con­sumers be­come more so­phis­ti­cated, they’re in­clined to use the ser­vices of over­seas travel agen­cies, which pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices. Smaller do­mes­tic com­pa­nies will be ei­ther elim­i­nated or merged into larger groups,” he added.

Zhang Lei, an an­a­lyst at China In­vest­ment Se­cu­ri­ties Co Ltd, pre­dicted that the growth of the tourism in­dus­try will re­main ro­bust in com­ing years.

“The ur­ban­iza­tion drive, the growth of the pop­u­la­tion and or­ganic eco­nomic growth will all help to in­crease the fre­quency of travel and the av­er­age con­sump­tion per capita. As the gov­ern­ment poli­cies re­main sup­port­ive, the tourism in­dus­try will see a boost,” he said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Dis­ney char­ac­ters at a com­pany event in Shang­hai on Tues­day. The Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Tourism and Re­sorts Zone, cov­er­ing about 24.7 square kilo­me­ters, will have the Dis­ney­land theme park as its core as well as other tourism, cul­tural and re­tail ar­eas.

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