Shanghai in final sprint for World Expo (2)

18:56, January 22, 2010      

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People wave flags during a mobilization meeting for the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 21, 2010. Shanghai Expo entered its 100-day countdown on Jan. 21. (Xinhua/Zhang Ming)

WHAT SHANGHAI IS PREPARING

Zhong Yanqun, deputy head of the executive committee of the Shanghai World Expo, told Xinhua that of the 42 self-built foreign pavilions, 35 had begun decoration. Construction on another 42 rent pavilions and 11 joint pavilions has completed and exhibition arrangements have started inside them.

"We request that all self-built, rent and joint pavilions have their exhibition arrangements finished by the end of March," Zhong said.

It is estimated that around 70 million people will visit the Expo site, surpassing the 64-million-visitor record set at the Osaka Expo 1970, which will be a challenge to Shanghai's transportation and accommodation systems.

According to the executive committee, most new traffic construction projects for the Expo, including the central ring road and new subway lines, have been completed and open to traffic, and ferry and streetcar lines across the Huangpu River will be completed within three months.

More than 90 bus routes and five subway lines cross the Expo area, and 42 buses will run within 2.4 kilometers of the area.


Children perform at a mobilization meeting for the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 21, 2010. Shanghai Expo entered its 100-day countdown on Jan. 21. (Xinhua/Zhang Ming)

A total of 550,000 beds will be available inside Shanghai and another 200,000 beds to be offered in nearby areas for Expo visitors.

In addition, a homestay program will be carried out to ease the tension between accommodation supply and demand.

Zhong said 85,000 square meters of catering areas at the Expo site and 60 restaurants inside foreign pavilions will provide delicious food from around the world for 40,000 visitors every day.

Ninety-five drinking fountains will be arranged to ensure that drinking water available within every 100 meters of walk.

Inside the Expo site, 8,056 public toilet cubicles will be available, or 20.14 ones for every 1,000 visitors if daily accommodation capacity tops 400,000 visitors.

Zhong told Xinhua that for the pavilion of the host and hot destinations, reservation service would be offered to avoid long queues during Expo visits.

Approximately 400,000 sq m of shielding area would be arranged to prevent visitors from exposing to the sunshine in Shanghai's scorching summer, she added.

Thursday's 100-day countdown of the Expo also saw 70,000 volunteers selected from 560,000 applicants ready for training, which is due to begin Friday and last through May 1, for the upcoming massive fair.

The volunteers will serve inside the 5.28-sq km Expo site as interpreters, receptionists, guides and media coordinators. Shanghai is also selecting 130,000 more volunteers to work at 1,000 service sites around the metropolis. They will offer services such as information, interpretation and emergency services outside the Expo site.

As of Jan. 17, more than 18 million tickets had been sold for the Expo.

Source: Xinhua
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