Visitors to flood Expo Expo Park in final week

14:40, October 21, 2010      

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Local travel agencies said Wednesday that organized tours to the Expo Park are almost fully booked for next week, when the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai enters its final stretch - despite authorities urging visitors to reach the event before crowds are expected to surpass record highs.

With crowd volumes topping out at more than 600,000 daily visitors this week, organizers said they hope more people would find time to tour the park before the weekend, especially at night, when standard day tickets are still permitted.

But designated Expo travel agencies said that they will be bringing bus loads of people to the park next week, as people believe the park will be less crowded given that only the higher-priced designated day tickets can be used to enter starting Monday.

According to Shanghai China Travel International, they are scrounging for resources to meet demand from customers wanting to see the park during the remaining days of the six-month show.

"We've run out of tour guides and long distance buses to bring people to the park," the manager of the company, surnamed Yang, told the Global Times Wednesday. "The high demand for tours has even allowed us to increase our prices some 20 percent to sell our daily Expo packages for as much as 600 yuan ($90)."

But Yang said that customers have been willing to pay a premium as they see value in shelling out more to be guaranteed a reservation ticket to the China Pavilion, which grants them entry into one of the most popular pavilions.

Other Expo designated agencies, including Shanghai Jinjiang International Travel Company and Shanghai Tourist Distribution Center, also told the Global Times Wednesday that they are experiencing a similar situation as customers have long been interested in securing a spot at the Expo before too late.

Meanwhile, visitors hoping to get in on the final action bided their time Wednesday at entrance gate queues, trading up the 160-yuan ($23) standard day tickets for designated ones by paying the 40-yuan ($6) ticketing price difference.

"It's been so crowded lately," Zeng Jianjun, a local visitor, told the Global Times Wednesday. "I am banking on it being less-packed next week, which is why I'm buying the ticket upgrade.

"If I don't have to elbow through as many crowds next week, then it will be well worth the extra money," he added.

Scalpers, too, were taking advantage of one of their last opportunities to cash in on eager visitors, charging a 10-yuan ($1.50) fee Wednesday for the exchange, targeting visitors who were tired of waiting in line to do so at the gates.

Organizers said last week that people could switch their standard day tickets in for designated day tickets, so long as they buy a designated ticket for a specified date. Visitors should check their schedules closely before purchasing, however, as those wanting to later change the date of their designated ticket will need to fork over another 40 yuan ($6).

Visitors can still buy standard day tickets at all park gates until Sunday. The park will stop selling designated day tickets next Friday on October 30, a day before the Expo concludes.

By Ni Dandan Source: Global Times


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