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Expo will offer all the fun of the fair
2010. 25 February
by Lim Hui Sin
(cei.asia) Performances at the Expo will include themed shows, cultural events and parades. In addition to shows staged by the Expo organisers, exhibitors will hold national pavilion days and daily performances. Three parade routes have been mapped out on the site.
Many national pavilions have announced their designated National Day, those remaining will be announced by April.
The Shanghai World Expo Coordination Committee’s Wu Penghong says the full programme will be available on the official World Expo website (en.expo2010.cn) by April also.
“All the programme details should be available by April 1, which is when we have the soft launch of the World Expo and a number of pavilions will open,” says Wu of the Shanghai World Expo Coordination Committee.
Charles Qian, travel account director at Pacific World Shanghai, says the most popular periods for visitors are the opening and closing ceremonies. “The first two weeks of May and the last two weeks of October seem to be the most popular time to visit, judging from the number of enquiries we’ve had,” says Qian.
“The Expo is proving to be very popular – people are enquiring about reserving pavilions for private functions or booking exclusive visits. However, details regarding these types of arrangements will not be announced until
closer to the date. We’re keeping our eyes very closely on the situation, and working with our contacts."
A series of forums and seminars will take place alongside the performances and exhibitions. These forums will be a platform for the discussion and exploration of topics relating to urban development.
The ‘Shanghai Declaration’, expected to be one of the highlights, will be announced at the summit forum towards the end of the Expo. The document will signify a consensus among Expo participants on issues relating to global urbanisation. The forum, to be held at the Expo Centre, will feature seminars, conferences, speeches, panel meetings and discussions.
Organisers say up to 2,000 participants are expected at the summit forum, including foreign dignitaries and government officials, as well as academic, business, and media representatives.
According to Expo organisers, more than 20,000 events will be held during the event’s 184 days. That’s more than 100 performances each day.
In addition to the pavilions, there are six indoor venues at the Expo: the Performance Centre, the Entertainment Hall, the Expo Centre Auditorium, the Expo Centre Multifunctional Hall, the Large Performance Area and the Small Performance Area.
A further 26 outdoor venues exist in the various zones of the World Expo site. Organisers say the venues have a combined capacity of close to 70,000 and each public space is expected to host between three and five events a day.
For visiting groups, Wu from the Shanghai World Expo Coordination Committee says Expo planners have set up a separate group entrance with guided tours and transport available if required.
“We see the Expo as a great opportunity to market Shanghai to visitors and we have worked with travel agencies in the city as well as neighbouring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces to come up with themed tours,” says the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration International Tourism Promotion Department’s director, Li Bincheng.
In addition to the 30 routes planned by travel agencies in Shanghai, Jiangsu province will have 55 and Zhejiang will offer 12.
The Shanghai routes are built around themes such as history, industry, creative, architecture, cultural and rural.
In addition to the World Expo, visitors can see creative and design hubs, or the historic residences of famous people.
The Zhejiang and Jiangsu routes include highlights such as the popular destinations of Suzhou and Hangzhou, both water canal towns and eco-reserves.
In addition to the event’s attractions, SMTA’s Li says with all the infrastructure upgrades due for completion before the Expo, there is no better time to visit. “Traffic will be fantastic,” he says.
Organisers have adopted the same traffic measures used for the Beijing Olympics, halving the number of private cars. Vehicles with number plates ending in odd and even numbers are only allowed on the road on alternate days.