Shanghai: An International Travel Destination of Tomorrow
By SUN LI
AFTER successfully hosting the World Expo last year, Shanghai yet again drew the attention of the world this year with its annual Shanghai Tourism Festival, held from September 10 to October 6, and its feast of culture from around the world. This event is part of plans laid out for Shanghai to transform itself into an international travel destination.
A total of 30 troupes, both Chinese and international, attend the festival.
An International Carnival
Shanghai Tourism Festival has been going for 22 years, starting in 1990. It is held in fall, Shanghai's most beautiful season. During this time the city becomes an ocean of joy.
The float parade is the highlight of the festival, watched by over three million people every year. This year a series of grand parades featuring multinational performances took place on Shanghai's major thoroughfares, with its interactive performances pushing the festival to its climax. Floats and performers from 20 countries and regions outside China's mainland participated in the parades, displaying fascinating culture and characteristics from countries including the U.S., Japan, Russia, Australia, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Spain.
A total of 30 troupes, both Chinese and international, were present at the opening ceremony. Among them were a high school band from Nevada in the U.S., folk singers and dancers from France, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and wheelchair-bound dancers from Shanghai.
After appearing at the opening ceremony, the floats traveled to 14 districts and counties in and around Shanghai for street shows, and convened at the Dongping National Forest Park during the National Day holiday.
Meanwhile other tourist events, like cruises along the Huangpu River, the Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival, the Nanjing Road Carnival Week and tour of the ancient town of Zhaojialou, were staged to enrich visitor's experience of the city. The organizer cooperated with 400 restaurants, hotels and scenic spots to offer even better discounts than seen in previous years.
Visitors were encouraged to vote for the ten best dimsum, ten favorite hot dishes and ten most welcomed cold dishes to determine the most popular restaurants in Shanghai. Along with the most popular products and must-see places and events, these restaurants are expected to imbue the city with rich connotations and make it more attractive to tourists.