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Pilot scheme begins to test home-stay for Expo guests

2009. 16 June

by Lu Feiran
( Zhabei District will become a pilot for home-stay accommodation for the 2010 World Expo. The Linfen Community in the district is expected to provide guests not only rooms but also an experience of Chinese communities, local tour authorities said yesterday.

The community told Shanghai Daily it is carrying out a survey to see how many families meet the accommodation standards and are willing to receive Expo visitors.

"The families should have a separate bedroom for guests, with facilities such as a telephone," said Li Qi, an official with the community. "It would also be better if a family member knows some English or another foreign language."

As the only designated community for the "Expo-experience tour" issued by the Shanghai Tourism Administration, the community will also offer cultural service centers and children's activity centers during the Expo so visitors can get to know about Chinese community culture, Li said. She said the community was waiting for a detailed outline about home-stay accommodation to decide which families will be chosen to receive visitors.

According to the latest amendment of the Shanghai Tourism Regulation, family homes, unoccupied residential buildings and school dormitories can be used for home-stays when the city is holding a large festival or sports event.

Officials said they are working on a detailed outline of what homes require in order to qualify to accommodate guests.

The standard is expected to be given to the public by the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision by the end of the year.

The administration said earlier that during the Expo, the city will experience a massive shortage of hotel beds. Up to 400,000 extra beds may be needed during the peak of the Expo.

Visitors will be encouraged to stay in hotels in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, or to find other types of accommodation in which to stay.