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Singapore to give away trips at Expo

2009. 8 June

by Yang Jian

( The Singapore Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo will give away free trips to the "garden city" to lucky visitors, a senior official of the country's travel authority said yesterday as construction of the pavilion began.

The Singapore Tourism Board is planning activities to attract Expo visitors to the country, said Koh Boon Wee, regional director of the board's China section.

Visitors will be invited to take part in Singapore's festivals and activities during the Expo, which runs from May to October next year, including the city-state's 45th anniversary in August and a Formula 1 race to be held at night in September.

The tourism board will introduce new travel packages, such as week-long tours of the country, instead of the usual "Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand" package, he said.

He said the country will use the Expo to help boost its tourism industry, which has been hit by the global financial crisis.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also attended the ground-breaking ceremony and presented an orchid - specially planted by Singapore National Parks for Expo 2010 - to Shanghai Vice Mayor Yang Xiong.

The orchid, called "Symphony between Shanghai and Singapore," will be a highlight of the Singapore Pavilion.

"The pavilion will be Singapore's largest undertaking at a World Expo," said Lee. Singapore officials declined to say how much the country was spending on the Expo but said it would be three times as much as it spent on the Aichi Expo in 2005.

Lee said Singapore wants to continue "participating in China's future development" and believes China will recover faster than most economies from the global economic crisis and help to lift other Asian economies.

The three-story "music box" pavilion has the theme "Urban Symphony." Its aluminum facade will depict Singapore's famous buildings.

Inside, Singapore will share its urban planning experience, and the know-how that created the "garden city," said Sauhoong Lim, president of the pavilion's organizing committee.

Music will be a core element in Singapore's 3,000-square-meter pavilion. Almost all the exhibits will play a some sort of music when visitors get close, Lim said.