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Early start for tour deals on offer at Expo
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Tourists  will be able to take packages designed with the 2010 World Expo in mind from the day the Shanghai Tourism Festival starts in September, local tour authorities said yesterday.

The 55 packages, organized by local tour agencies, will take in the highlights of the Yangtze River Delta, such as cruises, shopping, dining and traditional Chinese activities, said the Shanghai Tourism Administration.

The packages are listed on the bureau's Website, www.shanghaitour.net, but only in Chinese.

This year's Shanghai Tourism Festival, from September 12 to October 6, will include the traditional float parade on Huaihai Road M. and fireworks display at Century Park. As the festival will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the culture of the country's ethnic minorities will be displayed during the float parade on the evening of September 12.

In addition, 25 foreign groups have signed up for the parade - the most in the festival's 20 years.

To attract young people, a hip-hop contest will be held at Century Square from September 17 to 19.

"We found that middle-aged and older people were more interested in the festival than young people," said Zhu Chengrong, from the administration.

"So we expect such activity to attract more young people."

The administration said the festival will be a rehearsal for the Expo and the city's districts will be promoting their tourist attractions.

Yangpu District is to have a "centenary tour" which will include Jiangwan Stadium and old factories dating back more than 100 years.

Xuhui District will highlight its bars, Luwan District is to hold German and Thailand weeks while Hongkou District will be showing off its old western-style houses, where many celebrities once lived.

(Shanghai Daily July 14, 2009)

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