BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhuanet) -- Thousands of local residents rushed to the Expo Site on Wednesday as the tickets in the first batch of Expo gift packs given out by the municipal government expired on the last day of June.
The use of June Expo gift pack tickets has risen since the end of last week with an average of 100,000 tickets per day, with the number exceeding 147,000 last Saturday.
A staff member at the ticket counter of Gate 6 told China Daily that apart from the group visitors, 80 percent of the visitors on Wednesday were gift ticket holders.
"My apartment was being decorated earlier this month and I was too busy cleaning up. Still, I don't want to waste the free ticket and the chance to visit the Expo," said Li Xiuzhen, a retired resident.
Expo gift packs, which include a free Expo ticket and a 200-yuan (29 U.S. dollars) transportation card, have been delivered to Shanghai families with permanent household registrations and foreign residents with permanent residence permits since May 15.
The number of unused June Expo gift pack tickets was around 700,000 on Monday, Sina.com reported.
"The tickets left unused on Monday was roughly 700,000 and the number of tourists using the soon-to-expire tickets is rapidly growing this week," said Yuan Yuan, an officer at the ticket center in the Expo Garden.
According to official statistics provided by the ticket department, the first batch of more than two million Expo gift packs tickets for June have been sent out to permanent residents all over the city.
"I've just received the most updated information that about 100,000 tickets are left unused out of two million sent-out tickets," Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Organizers had expected that some of the complimentary tickets would not be used, Hong said. For example, some people might have lost the tickets, other people might have gotten sick and others are too busy to take a day off to the Expo Garden, he said.
"As a reminder, all tickets in the Expo gift packs expire every month, so tourists will have to use them within a limited period," Hong said.