Organizer says visiting Shanghai Expo purely voluntary

08:44, August 04, 2010      

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Hong Hao, director of the Coordination Bureau of Shanghai World Expo, refuted the media's accusation that the bureau had used government power to force people to visit the Expo at a press conference on July 31. He reiterated that the 70 million visitors to the Expo is just an estimated number rather than an objective that has to be achieved.

A Taiwanese reporter asked at the conference whether the rumors that all provinces and municipalities have to send a quota of tourists to the Expo and that the salaries of employees of certain state-owned enterprises will be docked if they do not go to visit the Expo were true. In order to quash rumors, Hong made it clear that the allegation of salary deductions is completely groundless, and they have never done such improper things.

"There are no such cases, absolutely not. Visiting the Expo is purely voluntary," Hong said.

He added that organizers certainly hope more people will visit the Expo, but they have never compelled others to visit, and there is no objective of attracting at least 70 million visitors.

Hong said that the real goal of holding the Expo is to provide enjoyable experiences for tourists from all around the world.

Along with the summer holidays, the organizers have already introduced a series of preferential measures, including student group tickets, to fulfill students' visiting demand.

However, Hong said, "We did not encourage schools to organize students to visit the Expo during the summer holidays. We advocate the voluntary principle since it will gain a better effect and better fulfill their demands especially individual and personalized demands."

Regarding ticket sales, Hong added that after the introduction of student group tickets, the purchase amount was not large. Most of the students, especially middle school students, visited the Expo with their parents. The sales of the onsite discount tickets at the entrance of the Expo Park increased markedly, accounting for over 50 percent of all the onsite ticket sales.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


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