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Families will host Expo guests

FOREIGN tourists will be able to take part in the daily lives of Shanghainese families during the World Expo next year.

The tourism authority of Jing'an District plans to recruit 50 families to welcome foreign Expo visitors, show them around and invite them into their homes, an official of the Jing'an Tourism Administration surnamed Zhang told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Foreign visitors can stay with a Shanghainese family. They can go grocery shopping with the family members, eat local food, study the Shanghainese dialect and make traditional crafts.

The administration will recruit 10 families from each of the district's five neighborhoods - Jing'an Temple, Caojiadu, Shimen No. 2 Road, Jiangning Road and Nanjing Road W.

Foreigners, both individuals and groups, can reserve places by telephone to take part in the activity, but exact details have yet to be finalized.

Host families will be selected for having healthy lifestyles. At least one of the members will be able to speak English, said Zhang. She added those who live in traditional longtang-style homes will be preferred.

The Jing'an Temple neighborhood has already selected a long-list of 35 families. All the families are either calligraphy-lovers or antique collectors.

The candidate families are all "special" in some way, Bai Wanqing, the head of the neighborhood's "Expo Family" project, told Youth Daily yesterday.

It will cost foreign visitors 100 yuan (US$14.62) to live with a family for one day, 30 yuan if they just want to have tea with their hosts, and 20 yuan for a tour of lanes and historic houses, said Bai.

The neighborhood has launched training for the host families, which covers etiquette, English, Expo information, Shanghai's customs and foreign culture.

Huangpu District's Bansongyuan community, which is near the entrance of the Expo site, has said it plans to recruit 1,000 families to receive foreign guests. The Shanghai Office of the National Scheme for Scientific Literacy has also chosen 53 families, most of them living close to the Expo site, to take in foreign guests.

A total of 3.5 million foreign people are expected to visit the 184-day Expo.


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