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Pavilion tickets easy to get today, scalpers hard hit

PEOPLE can buy tickets to the China Pavilion without waiting today, a sharp contrast to long queues yesterday when the pavilion reopened. The organizer opened 30 ticket windows today and limited each buyer to five tickets at a time.

If they need more tickets, they have to go to another window, said a China Pavilion official, surnamed Guo. He said the new rule was designed to speed up ticket sales and to thwart ticket scalpers.

Tickets are valid for any day until May 31 next year when the pavilion will be closed again.
Some people were found buying more than 100 tickets at a time yesterday, causing delays as sales staff counted out the tickets and the cash. The organizer also suspected many ticket scalpers were among the bulk buyers.

The convenience of buying tickets today dealt a big blow to scalpers who were forced to slash their offering price to 25 yuan (US$3.75), just five yuan more than the official price of 20 yuan, compared with 100 yuan they charged yesterday when people waited as long as four hours to get a ticket.

About 9,000 people gathered yesterday morning in front of the ticket windows, stretching hundreds meters and blocking roads and a nearby Metro station. Policemen and armed soldiers were called in to keep order.

The Expo organizer worked overnight to install zigzag barriers, widely used at the Expo site, in front of the ticket windows and along the Shangnan Road. But their efforts proved unnecessary because no waiting occurred today.

The pavilion is expected to receive about 20,000 visitors a day during its six-month re-run. It opens daily from 9am to 5pm. Visitors can buy tickets and enter the Expo site at the Expo entrance on Shangnan Road in Pudong.


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