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Shanghai Becomes Attractive Tourist Destination

With its strong economy and abundant, colorful cultural resources, eastern China's mega city Shanghai is not only attracting the increasing attention of overseas investors but also ordinary visitors.

The city received 2.7 million overseas tourists in 2002 and harvested more than 2 billion US dollars in foreign exchange, a rise of 30 percent on a yearly basis, according to the latest statistics from the Shanghai tourism administration.

At present, added value for the tourism industry accounts for 6.5 percent of the city's annual gross domestic product, according to Yao Mingbao, director of the city's tourism industry managementcommittee.

Yao said confidently he believed the city would receive 3 million overseas and 95 million domestic visitors in 2003, earning2.6 billion US dollars in foreign exchange and a total tourism income of 109 billion yuan (13 billion US dollars).

A blend of traditional Chinese and folk culture, fine world culture and modern sophistication provided the basis for the city's development and booming tourism industry, said Dao Shuming, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Committee.

"Colorful cultural and human resources and its status as a leading economic center in China all make the city a unique tourist destination," he added.

Various events such as the Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival, Shanghai International Fashion Festival, Shanghai Film Festival and Shanghai Art Festival, and several hundred conferences and exhibitions each year also provide chances for thecity to show itself to the world, and for people from home and abroad to experience its charms.

The 2010 World Expo is expected to boost Shanghai's tourism industry. Predictions are that 2.5 million to 3 million of the 70 million tourists estimated to attend the expo will be overseas visitors.

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