Tourists from Japan will increase by 8 percent to 10 percent this year from last year in Shanghai, local tourism officials predicted.
The city is targeting more Japanese tourists this year, when a decline in the number of tourists from US and European countries is foreseeable resulting from the September 11 terror attack and a global economic slowdown.
The number of Japanese tourists has continued to grow in the city in recent years. It totaled a third of the city's total two million overseas tourists last year.
Local industry insiders believe that Japanese tourists for business trips will increase with trades between China and Japan becoming more frequent after China's entry to the World Trade Organization and the city's successful holding of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conferences.
More cultural exchanges between the two countries planned for this year will also stimulate the tourism market, they said.
However, tourism practitioners from Japan disagreed to be too optimistic about the market. A predicted economic slowdown in Japan and the aftermath of terror attack are discouraging Japanese tourists, they held.
(eastday.com January 30, 2002)