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Residents in Shanghai Make Most of Holiday for Summit
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More than half a million residents will take a trip during the five-day holiday that comes with the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

However, enjoyment could be tempered by busy trains and crowded tourist spots.

According to local railway authorities, about 570,000 Shanghai people will travel by train during the holiday, which started yesterday.

Civil servants, school children and some private sector employees were given the holiday as the government sought to relieve traffic pressure in the city during the event.

High school graduates, relaxing following the completion of the college entrance examination last week, will enjoy the holiday particularly.

Travel agencies have reported robust business with reservations double the normal for the time of year.

Spring International Travel Service said they sent more than 3,600 residents on trips yesterday, 10 times more than the same time last year.

To meet the demands of the tourist boom in what is usually a low season, many travel companies have redesigned their products, for example condensing six-day sightseeing tours to four or five days.

"A lot of families are travelling during this mini golden week," said Liu Xiaojun, an official with the Shanghai CYTS Tours Corporation.

"However, to a certain extent it disrupted our publicity efforts for the upcoming summer vacation," he added.

South China's Hainan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are among the most popular tour destinations, travel agencies said, while individual travellers favoured scenic spots in nearby provinces such as Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

(China Daily June 15, 2006)

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