Shanghai’s tourist attractions were popular on Sunday thanks to half-price admissions to mark the China Tourism Day.
But that resulted in long queues.
At the Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower in the Pudong New Area, visitors were told that they would need to wait two hours at 10am. The wait time extended to three and a half hours by 11am.
“We set up snake-shaped tunnels in advance and increased the number of security guards to ensure order and safety,” said Zhao Qianqian, an employee of the tower.
“The queuing time for a normal Sunday is about one to two hours through the day. The number of visitors this Sunday was equal to the May Day or National Day holiday.”
The earliest visitor arrived before 7am. The opening time is 8am.
“I came here today because of the cheaper ticket,” said Wu Lanying, a local retiree, who traveled all the way from Yangpu District with her husband.
“I expected there would be long queue, but not this long,” she said. “We left home just past 8am to avoid big crowds.”
Wu said she came on Saturday as she made a mistake about the date and returned home after being told the ticket was full price.
“I also plan to visit the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in the afternoon depending on time because it also provides half-price admission,” she said.
“The normal ticketing discount of scenic spots in Shanghai for retirees is not as big as half-price admission. I hope more can be offered for seniors in the future.”
Chen Liangliang, from Jiangsu Province, said: “I have been working in Shanghai for 10 years, but I have never been to the TV tower. I decided to pay a visit to the iconic attraction when learning of the discounted price from news.”
Some foreign tourists were put off by the long queues and dropped out despite already having purchased tickets.
“There are other things to do besides the Space Capsule, and I am interested in the Shanghai History Exhibition Hall inside the TV tower,” said a tourist from the United States.
Another tourist from Switzerland said she would visit the Shanghai Tower instead.
The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium not far away had the same offer. The operator used online booking to cut the waiting time of ticketing.
“It took me almost two hours on the road but it is worthwhile because it is a big bargain for three people,” said Liu Jing, from Minhang District, who came to the aquarium with her parents.
The Chenshan Botanical Garden in Songjiang District received more than 18,000 visitors as of 3pm on Sunday, double the normal Sunday figure, its operator said.
In total, 70 tourist attractions across Shanghai offered half-price admissions on Sunday.
These included the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, the Shanghai Disney Resort, the Shanghai Tower, the 88th-floor observatory of Jin Mao Tower and the Bund’s sightseeing tunnel, according to the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.
Parks such as Chenshan Botanical Garden, Century Park, Shanghai Zoo, Gucun Park, Binjiang Forest Park, Zuibaichi Park, Yuehu Sculpture Park, Gongqing Forest Park, Guyi Garden and the Dongping National Forest Park were also included.
It has become a tradition for major scenic spots in the city to provide half-price tickets on the China Tourism Day and during the annual Shanghai Tourism Festival in September.