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Puxi pavilions in demand

WORLD Expo Shanghai 2010 has shown a remarkable shift in visitors' attitudes as the event enters its fifth month.

At the beginning, corporate pavilions and the Urban Best Practices Area in Puxi were somewhat shunned as people flocked to the national pavilions at Expo's Pudong site.

Now the UBPA and corporate pavilions are attracting about 350,000 total visits each day.

Many of the pavilions, in zones D and E, have seen daily attendance increase several times since the beginning of the fair.

Chen Chao, director of both zones, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the change is the result of a gradual learning process among both visitors and the people managing pavilions along with positive word of mouth.

Chen said the pavilions have improved presentations and added more to exhibits to help people better understand the concepts and keep them interested.

The Hamburg House, also known as the "Passive House," now offers more tours, helping visitors understand the high-tech pavilion and how it keeps the temperature around 25 degrees Celsius without air conditioning. Before the tours were launched, visitors didn't understand what the pavilion was about.

Oliver Hayakawa, director of the Liverpool Pavilion, said visitors now average around 5,000 people each day, a big jump from the 1,000 back in May. To attract visitors and keep them focused, the pavilion cut its film from 8 minutes to 3 minutes and added some interactive games to entertain people.

Chen Xing, 27, from Tianjin, said the interactive sections - including singing songs by the Beatles, playing soccer and answering questions to win gifts - were a lot of fun.

The China State Shipbuilding Corporate Pavilion yesterday became the first on the Puxi side of the Expo site to attract 5 million visitors.

Gong Hanming, the pavilion's vice director, said nearly 40,000 visitors enter every day, up from the 10,000 plus in May. Gong said they have improved service and offered more activities to attract people to the pavilion.

He said they have captains telling stories, which children love, inside the pavilion. He also said they added seats in the queuing area and offer free slippers to women wearing high heels.

In addition, word of mouth has spread, drawing more people to the UBPA and corporate pavilions.

The Oil Pavilion has surpassed the Saudi Arabia Pavilion for the longest wait to enter after visitors gave thumbs up reviews to its 4D movie.


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