Shang­hai gets props in NY

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By SHI XI in New York

Shang­hai is tak­ing cen­ter stage in the Big Ap­ple.

Along with the hun­dreds of ex­changes, vis­its and tourism pro­mo­tions mark­ing this year of China-US Tourism, a cam­paign pro­mot­ing Shang­hai was launched at Xinhua News Agency’s North Amer­ica bureau in New York on Tues­day.

“I’ve been very pleased to travel to the beau­ti­ful city many times, and I have to tell you that it is al­ways a source of in­spi­ra­tion, al­ways an ex­hil­a­rat­ing trip and I’m al­ways dis­cov­er­ing some­thing new,” said Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Com­pany, New York City’s tourism bureau.

“As Shang­hai is called the ‘New York’ of China, we would like to say New York is ‘Shang­hai’ of the United States,” Dixon said.

In 2015, 636,377 tourists from the US vis­ited Shang­hai, a 0.61 per­cent in­crease from 2014, ac­cord­ing to Cheng Mei­hong, vice-chair­woman of Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion, who called the US an im­por­tant in­bound mar­ket source for the Shang­hai tourism trade.

Tar­get­ing the North Amer­i­can mar­ket, a del­e­ga­tion led by Cheng in­tro­duced Shang­hai’s new at­trac­tions, such as Dis­ney­land, new ad­di­tions to the sky­line, new visa and tax poli­cies and new di­rect air routes.

Mak­ing its in­ter­na­tional de­but at the event was the orig­i­nal vir­tual-re­al­ity, high­def­i­ni­tion mu­sic video Our Shang­hai, star­ing ac­tor Hu Ge with mu­sic by the up-and­com­ing bel canto band Vo­cal Force.

Mean­while, sight­see­ing buses with Shang­hai travel ads have been driv­ing around New York City since mid Au­gust and will con­tinue through Oct 9.

In ad­di­tion, the Our Shang­hai video will be played con­tin­u­ously at 164 bus shel­ters in New York from Sept 26 to Oct 23.

Touted as a shin­ing ex­am­ple of China-US part­ner­ship, co­op­er­a­tion and mu­tual ben­e­fit, the Shang­hai Dis­ney Re­sort of­fi­cially opened on June 16 and is al­ready at­tract­ing tens of thou­sands of vis­i­tors ev­ery day. Af­ter eight years un­der con­struc­tion, Shang­hai Tower, the tallest build­ing in China and the sec­ond-tallest in the world, has be­gun trial op­er­a­tion. In al­liance with the Ori­en­tal Pearl TV Tower, Jin­mao Tower, and Shang­hai World Fi­nan­cial Cen­ter in Lu­ji­azui, Shang­hai Tower is the crowning achieve­ment of Pudong District’s open­ing up and re­form.

Since Jan 30, Shang­hai has of­fered a 144-hour visafree pol­icy for pas­sen­gers from 51 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US.

Shang­hai has been de­voted to op­ti­miz­ing the tax re­fund process by pro­vid­ing a quick re­sponse chan­nel and a 24/7 ques­tion-and-an­swer ser­vice. Since last July, over­seas tourists have re­ceived a to­tal of 10 mil­lion yuan ($1.5 mil­lion) in tax re­funds, Cheng said.

To bring the two coun­tries closer, six air­lines have re­cently opened nine new di­rect routes be­tween China and the US, seven of which are op­er­ated by Chi­nese air­lines.

In March, China East­ern launched di­rect ser­vice be­tween Shang­hai and Chicago; in May, Hainan Air­lines linked Shang­hai with Bos­ton and Seat­tle; in July, Delta con­nected Shang­hai and Los An­ge­les; and Air China an­nounced a new route to San Jose.

/ FOR CHINA DAILY SHI XI

Fred Dixon, CEO of NYC & Com­pany, speaks at a Shang­hai tourism pro­mo­tion cam­paign launch event at Xinhua News Agency’s North Amer­i­can bureau in New York on Tues­day.

Cheng Mei­hong, vice-chair­woman of Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion

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