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Expo record in the rain

DESPITE continuous rain, yesterday's visitor number to Expo hit 361,200 and broke the record of 335,000 set a week ago.

The number of group visitors reached 144,000. Visitors from various parts of the country toured the site wearing the identifying hats of their travel agencies.

Their guides, holding colorful flags, kept asking them to follow closely and looking back to check on the team.

"We just took advantage of the Expo to visit Shanghai," said Chen Yueli, 72, from Shandong Province.

The retired teacher came with his 75-year-old wife in a tourist group of 50, mostly retirees. Their six-day package includes two days - yesterday and today - at the Expo site, a day for other tourist attractions and the rest for nearby water towns.

The tour guide, surnamed Wang, said the trip package - Expo plus water towns - was popular. Her next visit will involve a "Children's Day" group tour.

There was almost no space to walk yesterday between the France and Germany Pavilions, two of the most popular venues. Security guards at the sites had to keep extending the ropes to accommodate growing queues.

The Europe Joint Pavilion, which in the past had no queues, had dozens of people lined up as visitors rushed around trying to find the shortest queue.

Restaurants on Europe Square were still full of lunch diners at 3:30pm.

"We came today because we thought there wouldn't be too many visitors due to the bad weather," said Zhang Liying, 27, a white-collar worker who visited with her boyfriend.

The couple, interested in European culture, arrived at around 11am and, after lining up at Gate 7 for more than an hour, got into a pavilion about 3pm.

They were daunted by the lines outside all the popular European pavilions.


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