SHANGHAI – Shanghai will issue discount vouchers worth about 900 million yuan (131.8 million U.S. dollars) to boost local tourism that were affected by the global economic downturn, a tourism official said here Sunday.

The Pudong New District will give out 310,000 pamphlets of consumption coupons between Tuesday and mid May to residents of Shanghai and two neighboring provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, said Li Zhengming, vice director with the tourism and exhibition department of the economic committee of Pudong.

Domestic tourists can enjoy up to 40 percent price off in 12 scenic spots, 32 restaurants, 29 hotels and 9 travel agencies while traveling in Pudong between May to August, saving more than 3,000 yuan, Li said.

The vouchers are expected to incur up to 5 billion yuan in domestic consumption and attract more visitors to the main venues of the Shanghai Expo, which is set to be held in Pudong between May 1 to Oct. 30 next year, Li added.

The coupons will be released via tourist consultation centers and banks in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

Affected by the global financial crisis, tourist arrivals and star hotel occupancy rate in Shanghai dropped by 9.34 percent and 10 percent respectively in the first quarter of the year as to compare with the same period of last year, according to the municipal tourism bureau.