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Expo 2010 Breaks Its Target of 70 Mln Visitors

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Visitors line up to enter the Nepal Pavilion on Sunday in the Expo Garden in Shanghai. There were more than 70 million visitors to Expo 2010 Shanghai as of Sunday. [China Daily]

With a high volume of visitors expected in the last week of Expo 2010 Shanghai, organizers said Sunday they will leave no stone unturned to ensure the extravagant fair comes to a close on Oct 31 without any major hiccups.

The six-month event, which comes to a close on Oct 31, exceeded its target of 70 million visitors on Sunday.

More than 837,000 people passed through turnstiles in the Expo Garden on Saturday, while more than 666,300 visitors had entered the venue as of 4:00 PM on Sunday.

Total attendance for the 184-day fair last week broke the record held by Expo 1970 Osaka in Japan, which attracted a total of 64 million visitors.

"It's a great honor for the organizers to have reached the target of 70 million visitors. For the moment, we just want to concentrate on our work for the final week instead of celebrating," an unnamed official of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination was quoted as saying on the Expo's official website.

The Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination has come up with a series of measures and emergency plans for the peak days that lie ahead.

Security has been doubled at each gate to ensure there are no lapses.

"We've made sound preparations to ease the crowds, especially after the number of visitors reached the daily peak of 1.03 million on Oct 16," said Yu Zhenyu, administrative director of the press office of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

Public transportation, entrances and exits, drink and food supplies, and other facilities and services for visitors have also been added, while the examination and maintenance of fences outside pavilions, water dispensers and benches in rest areas have been reinforced as well.

Many other resources have been put into use, including 20 extra buses, 6,000 meters of fences and a number of temporary toilets. The ferry service has also been increased by 10 percent, with a group of guides ensuring tourists get on and off the ferry safely, according to the organizers.

"We have to appreciate the efforts of some 3,000 sanitation workers who were on duty in the rain over the weekend to keep the Expo site clean," Yu said.

There were 1,500 peak-day volunteers, along with another 1,000 volunteers selected from among students who had finished their duties at the Expo, at work over the weekend in some extremely crowded areas like entrances, shuttle stops, ferry ports and the Expo Axis.

The organizers also distributed more than 250,000 umbrellas and raincoats to visitors free of charge during the rainy weekend.

But the average queuing time at popular pavilions was still painstakingly long despite a number of efforts by the organizers.

"I arrived at the Expo Garden at 4:00 AM to get a reservation ticket for the China Pavilion. After visiting the China Pavilion, I then queued up outside the Saudi Arab Pavilion. It will be five hours before I enter the pavilion," said a visitor, surnamed Zhang, from central China's Hunan Province.

On Sunday, it took visitors about seven hours to enter the SAIC-GM (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation-General Motor) Pavilion, while there were five-hour waits for other popular pavilions like the Coca-Cola Pavilion, the Japan Pavilion, the Saudi Arab Pavilion and the Germany Pavilion.

(China Daily October 25, 2010)

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