Pudong New Area aims to take Shanghai's theater-arena spotlight with the Himalayas Center, a 2.4-billion-yuan (US$351.17 million) ultramodern dazzler.
Women from Mauritius dance at the China International Travel Mart 2008, which kicked off in Shanghai yesterday. More than 4,000 companies from 106 countries and regions are taking part in the four-day event despite the global gloom. It attracted more than 10,000 visitors on opening day. [Photo: Shanghai Daily]
The center, with "opening night" scheduled for 2010, would include a theater, two hotels and a gallery, its investors said at the China Inter-national Travel Mart 2008 which opened in Shanghai yesterday.
The DaGuan Theater is suitable for drama, opera, movie and dance performances, and will be the new venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Shanghai Film Festival, according to its chief investor, the city-based Zendai Group.
Designed by Arata Isozaki, a Japanese architect who has won numerous awards in Japan, Europe and North America, the center will incorporate crystalline cubes and an organic "forest."
The Himalayas Center, near the Shanghai New International Expo Center, would occupy more than 28,000 square meters, Zendai said.
The tourism mart at the new international expo center will last for four days and is a big vote of approval for China from the international arena despite the reeling global economy.
It is the biggest in the mart's 10-year history, with more than 4,000 companies or tourism administrations participating, up 4 percent from last year, according to organizers.
A total of 106 countries and regions are on show at the Pudong venue, also a record.
The United States, the biggest overseas exhibitor, occupies 120 booths. Michigan officials alone want to draw 5,000 to 10,000 tourists from China to the state.
Canadian tourism authorities said every year visitor volume from China increased and that trend was set to continue.
Tour agencies at the mart are offering cut-price overseas packages, thanks largely to the strong yuan.
And agencies from Taiwan are promoting low-cost honeymoon tours to Chinese mainland tourists.
Agencies, such as Lion Travel, said they would provide wedding-picture services for mainland couples as part of Taiwan honeymoon packages.
"The price will range between 5,000 yuan and 10,000 yuan," said Yuhsiang Yeh, inbound department supervisor of Lion Travel.
Agencies revealed a distinctive trend since Taiwan holidays were made more accessible in July: Most mainland tourists want the focus on sightseeing rather than luxury.
The mart will be open to the public all weekend, with free shuttle buses from Century Park to the venue.
(Shanghai Daily November 21, 2008)