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Fair go for early birds

KEEN Expo Shanghai visitors queuing up outside entry gates as early as 7am will be ensured a clearer run to their favorite pavilion in future when the site opens at 9am.

The Expo organizer has responded to complaints from visitors and participants about workers abusing their early access privilege by starting queues at pavilions before the gates open.

Operational staff, including officials, security guards, technicians, performers, media workers and volunteers, are allowed into the site before it opens to make preparations.

"I'm very annoyed with their privileges. I came here so early in the morning and ran my guts off to be first in line for the Japan Pavilion," said Shanghai visitor Jiang Luyang, 57. "But I found about 200 people already lining up there, giving me a look that 'we are privileged'," he said.

"It is not fair. These people are supposed to work there and serve us, not to take up our resources. I bought a ticket."

Jiang lined up with his wife at 7am outside Gate 4, the closest to Japan Pavilion, and hoped they would not have to wait for the popular venue.

The Expo organizer said that such abuse of access passes infringed on the rights of visitors who bought tickets and damaged the image of Expo staff.

So last week an official announcement was posted outside the gates saying "staff workers caught lining up early would be expelled from the site, their passes confiscated by the organizer."

The announcement has also been handed out to staff workers as they enter the gates before 9am.

Some staff workers have been found getting more than one reservation ticket to the Taiwan Pavilion by lining up repeatedly in the morning, said Luo Shu-Fen, chief media relations manager of the pavilion.

The Saudi Arabia Pavilion, one of the most popular and involving a wait of more than five hours to enter, will enforce the Expo organizer's new rules, pavilion staff said.

Staff cannot get a ticket to the China Pavilion because volunteers only distribute the tickets to visitors at the turnstiles when the Expo site officially opens at 9am.


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