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National accolade as Xujiahui adds to its tourism charms

By Hu Min (Shanghai Daily)

08:25, October 31, 2012

THE city's Xujiahui shopping area is poised to enhance its reputation as a magnet for tourism after officials announced yesterday that a 2.4-square-kilometer zone in the bustling locality has been approved as a 4A national tourist spot.

It is Shanghai's first open metropolitan tourism scenic spot, entitled "Xujiahui Yuan," or the origin of Xujiahui.

Among the improvements in the tourism infrastructure, public toilets have been upgraded and tourist shuttle buses will be opened to link popular scenic spots in Xujiahui.

A mobile toilet has been added on Huashan Road, while three public toilets in Xujiahui Park, Guangqi Park and at the intersection of Zhaojiabang Road and Tianping Road have been rebuilt to meet the criteria of three-star toilets with regards to hygiene conditions, environment, bilingual signs and equal ratio of cubicles, the Xuhui District Tourist Bureau said.

Shuttle buses stringing popular tourist attractions like the Xu Guangqi Memorial Hall and cultural venues such as the Qian Xuesen Library and the Shanghai Grand Stage will be launched soon, it added.

Tourists can now reserve tickets at its official English website for four tourism routes covering major tourist attractions like the Tomb of Xu Guangqi-one of China's greatest men of applied science for whom Xujiahui is named, the Tushanwan Museum, Xujiahui Cathedral and Xujiahui Library, which was established in 1847 and now houses a large collection of antique foreign books.

The country's first film museum built on the former site of the Shanghai Film Studio will be opened to the public at the end of this year, the bureau said.

Visitors will be able to watch old films and learn about the history of the city's film industry at the museum. A meteorological museum near the Xujiahui Observatory is scheduled to open next year.

Xujiahui is a historical and cultural area in the city's southwest, known for its unique and strong cultural flavors as well as chic and relaxing lifestyle that incorporates shopping, entertainment and dining.

During the 18th century, the area was known by Shanghai's western residents as Ziccawei in English or Zikawei in French.

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