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Shanghai Expo gets fewer visitors than expected

By Wang Fangqing     May 5, 2010 in World
Shanghai - Despite heavy government propaganda, the Shanghai Expo did not seem to be very popular with tourists. In fact, people are complaining about expensive food and management issues in the Expo park.
So far the highest attendance was on Sunday, with 215,000 people flocking to the Expo. On Monday, the last day of the three-day public holiday, only 131,700 people visited the park, according to the Global Times. Overall, there were far fewer visitors than organizers had expected.
Officials predict 70 million visitors will come to the Expo in the next six months, a goal that would require 380,000 visitors a day.
Hong Hao,director-general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said at Sunday's press conference that the reason for the shortage of visitors was because of warm temperatures and because many visitors opted for day tickets to avoid big crowds during the holiday.
He also said fewer visitors could relieve the pressure on public security and service maintenance.
But on Sunday, when the temperature hit 30 degrees (C) -- or 86 degrees (F) -- about 26 visitors suffered from heatstroke and 56 visitors were hurt in other incidents.
People also complained about the over-priced food, saying food was priced about five times higher than food outside the park. For example, a vegetable bun is priced at 5 yuan in the park, compared with 1 yuan outside the site.
An online poll conducted Tuesday showed more than 64 percent of 43,350 respondents were not planning to visit Shanghai during the Expo.
More about Expo, Shanghai, China, Shortage
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