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China promises convenient shopping for tourists at the Expo

2009. 23 October

by Liang Kaixin and Evelyn Choo
( The organisers of next year's World Expo in China are seeking to attract more visitors from Southeast Asia.

A roadshow promoting the event made a stop in Singapore on Friday and showcased some of the highlights expected at the Expo.

These include a pre-paid card that will make it easier for tourists to shop and enjoy discounts.

The sights and sounds of China came alive in a roadshow that offered a sneak preview of what visitors can expect at the World Expo opening in Shanghai in May 2010.

The global exhibition is themed "Better City, Better Life" and is set to be the largest World Expo to date, attracting 242 countries and organisations.

To meet the needs of visitors, the tourism board of China will issue a Shanghai Tour Card which is a pre-paid card that visitors can use during their stay there.

Card users will enjoy discounts when they make payments at tourist destinations.

Connie Cheng, vice chairman, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, said: "With such a card, you have more privileges and benefits. It's also convenient, with access to more than 30 domestic and foreign banks. The card, to a very large extent, will help us boost tourism consumption.

The Singapore Tourism Board said that progress on its pavilion at the Expo, named Urban Symphony, is on track. It will be Singapore's largest participation to date in terms of size, with an area of 3,000 square metres and a height of three storeys.

Leong See Kay, director, World Expo Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board, said: "We started construction in early June and by November, which is next month, we'll be able to do a topping out - that means the roof and everything will be completed by then and the steel structure will be ready as well. In terms of construction, the entire pavilion will be ready by February next year."

China welcomed almost 900,000 visitors from Singapore in 2008 and hopes to top that figure with the launch of the World Expo in 2010.