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May 29, 2010

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No more group tickets

THE Expo organizer has stopped the sale of group tickets to companies and institutions to ensure there are enough for individual buyers, a senior Expo organizer said yesterday.

The organizer has found many group tickets are being banked by companies for use as gifts to employees.

It was feared this would cause a flood of people to the site at the end of the Expo, said Chen Zhuofu, director of the Ticketing Office of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

So far, more than 37 million tickets have been sold while only 6.8 million visitors have entered the site, meaning a large number of tickets are being unused, he said.

Income from ticket sales has reached 5 billion yuan (US$732 million) since sales started on March 27 last year.

The money will be put toward paying the 28.6 billion yuan cost for the Expo, with 18 billion yuan going to site construction and 10.6 billion yuan to running costs.

The organizer has also stopped selling to group buyers the three- and seven-day tickets that allow multiple visits to the Expo at a cheaper price.

The multi-day tickets are limited in supply and more than half of the three- and seven-day tickets have been sold out, Chen said.

A three-day ticket costs 400 yuan and a seven-day ticket 900 yuan.

More than 300,000 night tickets that allow entry to the site after 5pm have been sold, accounting for 35 percent of all intraday tickets sold.

The organizer is planning to sell group night tickets to encourage more visitors at night, Chen said.

Expo tickets are available at selling points at every entrance to the site and four official ticket agents -- China Mobile, China Telecom, Bank of Communication and China Post.

Today's attendance is expected to hit a record 400,000, with 180,000 group visitors.


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