Shanghai leads as hotspot for inbound tourism during May Day

SHANGHAI, May 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from

A view of the Lujiazui financial center in Shanghai's Pudong New Area from the Bund. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]
A view of the Lujiazui financial center in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area from the Bund. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]

Shanghai stood out as a premier destination for inbound tourism over the recent May Day holiday, driven by the successful launch of the “free half-day tour” initiative for those with layovers exceeding eight hours, which received international acclaim.

Introduced by, a branch of the Chinese online travel agency Ctrip Group, on April 15, the program aims to enhance visitor experiences and promote China’s image, resulting in a 130 percent surge in inbound tourism bookings.

According to Tongcheng Travel’s latest report on this year’s May Day holiday travel trends, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong province, and Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, were identified as popular choices for inbound flights, highlighting their appeal to global travelers.

The surge in inbound tourism was also fueled by Shanghai’s “Visit Shanghai” campaign led by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism. This campaign, featured in 14 languages and promoted on five major international social media platforms, strategically highlights the city’s urban tourism charm.

Throughout the May Day holiday, Shanghai hosted events such as the 2024 Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour, Shanghai Auto Culture Festival, and Shanghai Coffee Week, which attracted visitors from all over the world. 

Noteworthy art and cultural exhibitions also drew significant crowds, with over 200 offline exhibitions, 1,000 educational activities, and 10,000 public events enriching the city’s cultural scene.

According to the city’s tourism authority, Shanghai registered a 3.77 percent increase in visitors during the May Day holiday.

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