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Expo lures 1m foreign visitors, and counting

07-02-2010 09:51 BJT Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhuanet) -- A Count of tour groups shows that at least 1.07 million foreigners had visited the World Expo since it opened on May 1, the head of the Expo bureau said Wednesday.

The actual number of foreigners touring the world's fair in Shanghai would be far bigger if individuals, whose nationalities are not recorded at the gate, were factored in, Hong Hao, director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, told a press conference.

To help the rising tide of tourists from abroad, Expo officials have recruited another 2,000 volunteers who can speak a foreign language besides English, Hong said.

On any given day, about 280 such volunteers are currently working at the Expo site. They are posted at every service station across the site and near or inside foreign pavilions. Another 158 serve VIPs.

Most of the volunteers were picked from universities in Shanghai, taking students who specialize in foreign languages and speak them fluently, said Liu Yong, an official in charge of the language service volunteers of the bureau.

Among the group, they can speak 10 foreign languages including English, German, French, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Korean.

Before the Expo began, the bureau estimated that 3.5 million visitors would come from abroad, 5 percent of the 70 million expected in all.

Hong confirmed that the Expo would not be prolonged past the closing date of October 31, despite the urging of many visitors.

The International Exposition Bureau has stipulated that all specialized Expo like the Shanghai Expo must run for six months, he said.


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