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Puxi policy lures crowd

Many more visitors toured the Urban Best Practices Area in Expo's Puxi section yesterday but some simply rushed to collect stamps at pavilion exits and paid no attention to the exhibitions.

It was the first day of the Expo authority's new policy to attract more visitors to Puxi by offering different incentives connected to popular pavilions in Pudong.

Within one hour, all 1,000 available copies of "City Name Card," a booklet to collect stamps, had been grabbed by visitors waiting in a long queue in front of the distribution site. Such a queue had been rarely seen at the UBPA.

Waving the booklet, some visitors just ran to the pavilion exits to get stamps, showing no interest in seeing any exhibits.

Local journalist Chen Hong said the response was not surprising because the UBPA pavilions are not as interesting as those in Pudong, although the changes attracted more people and some of them might enjoy the tour.

"They should develop more interesting points to attract visitors and provide more help for people to understand the professional pavilions," Chen said.

The result of the new policy was immediately apparent as visitor numbers to the Puxi section soared considerably, said Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of the Shanghai Expo Coordination.

The Vancouver Pavilion, located in an isolated corner of the UBPA where few people went, yesterday admitted four or five times more visitors than earlier.

About 42,000 people toured the UBPA yesterday, one-seventh of the day's full attendance. The rate prior to the changes has been one-tenth since the site opened on May 1.

People are required to collect 16 stamps from their UBPA tour and trade them for a reserved ticket to the China Pavilion or the Saudi Arabia Pavilion. A total of 1,000 reserve tickets to the two pavilions were made available at the UBPA yesterday.

The Expo director also revealed that more entertainment activities will be moved to the Puxi section, continuing to balance the visitor flows of the two areas. And group visitors are encouraged to enter the Expo site from entrances in Puxi.

Also, Hong said there would be an increase in sun shades as the temperature keeps climbing. For the top 10 popular pavilions, such as Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan, shelters have been set up to keep lines of visitors from the sun.

Similar measures to help visitors have involved adding more seats, more toilets near popular pavilions and more electric power carts, Hong said.

As a result of recent rain, authorities are erecting more warning signs and installing more non-slip mats.


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