The Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway [Photo: gywb.cn]
The Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway is set to open in late December, making the over 2,300 kilometer journey take only nine hours, said a tourism promotion campaign of Kunming.
Currently, the direct regular rail between Shanghai and Kunming, Shanghai¨CKunming Railway, would take a whopping 35-40 hours.
The section that links Shanghai and Guiyang was opened last year.
After the other part of the railway opening at the end of 2016, passengers will need only nine hours from Shanghai to Kunming, as the speed being 350km/h.
The high-speed rail will also cut travel times from Hangzhou to Kunming to 8 hours, 5.5 hours if you start from Nanchang and 4 hours from Changsha.
Yunnan province has been one of the top ten most popular cities for tourists in China, with this year's number of tourists to Kunming double that of last year, according to tourism site lvmama.com.
The new Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway also makes it possible for tourists in neighboring provinces such as Sichuan to make trips there on weekends.
Kunming's tourism authorities said that after the opening of the high-speed railway, the number of tourists to Kunming is expected to rise from 10.25% to 20%.
In 2020, the number of trips by people to Kunming is expected to be 150 million, with an estimated 30 million brought by high-speed railways.
Analysts from lvmama.com are also estimating that the price of high-speed train tickets to Kunming is expected to be significantly lower than the price of airplane tickets.
Yunnan is also helping budget travelers by instating some policies for the grand opening of the new high-speed railway link.
Within the first month since the opening day, some hotels will offer 10% to 50% discounts, and tickets for scenic areas will be a 50% cheaper if you can present a Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway ticket.