Hot springs and warm beaches are the most popular travel destinations for local travelers at the moment, a traditionally slow period for tour agencies in Shanghai.
Several large agencies in town are offering hefty discounts to attract travelers.
"Our main business at this time of the year is organizing one- or two-day hairy crab tasting trips for corporations to nearby cities on weekends," said Shen Side, general manager of Shanghai China Travel Holiday Ltd, one of the city's largest tour agencies.
Shen said few individual tourists book trips at this time of the year, as most avid travelers took advantage of the recent National Day holiday to get out of town.
"By lowering prices to destinations in southern China, we hope the favorable winter destinations could help to win back some customers," said Chen Jisheng, deputy general manager of Spring Travel Service.
The agency is offering discounts of around 40 percent to popular southern destinations, such as Xiamen, Fujian Province, and Kunming, Yunnan Province.
The company dropped the price of trips to Hainan in the middle of October, and has seen 350 customers leave for the tropical island every day on average.
Qingdao and Yantai in Shandong Province are also popular destinations at the moment, as both cities are home to hot springs.
Chen qi, deputy director of the outbound department at Shanghai China International Travel Service, said that Hong Kong and Macau are the most popular overseas destinations at the moment.
(Shanghai Daily November 10, 2005)