On average 120,000 people a day used Shanghai as the gateway to enter or leave China last year, according to the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection.
The number of inbound and outbound passengers reached 43.75 million in 2017 — a record high. More than 80 percent of them traveled through Pudong International Airport, which has been the most popular airport on the Chinese mainland for 15 years.
On New Year's Day, Pudong airport opened an extra 21 self-service immigration clearance channels, bringing the total number so far to 88. Hongqiao International Airport has 25 such channels.
Pudong airport recorded a year-on-year increase of 80 percent in number of people using the channels, which take an average 10 seconds to use.
Last year, 4.03 million of passengers, more than 99 percent of whom were Chinese, used the service at Pudong airport. A daily record of 30,000 was achieved on December 17.
Relaxation of visa restrictions for short has worked to boost local tourism.
Last year, 83,000 foreign visitors took the option of the 144-hour, visa-free transit policy offered by the city's airports and ports, up 135 percent on 2016. A further 8,500 foreign visitors, who joined package tours and arrived in Shanghai on cruises, were allowed visa-free stays of up to 15 days, up 40 percent on 2016.
The station said a record 4 million freight passengers were recorded traveling through Shanghai's ports last year, and the city remains to be the busiest port in Asia.