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Sun brings peak-day surge

THE World Expo site yesterday saw a surge in visitors on the third day of the National Day holiday, thanks to good weather and relaxed ticket rules.

More than 447,500 visitors had streamed into the Expo site as of 9pm yesterday, compared with 392,000 on October 2 and 254,000 on October 1.

Yesterday's figure was the highest for a peak day so far, including the May Day holiday period.

"The weather is so nice today that I came to visit the Expo," said Yu Qin from Anhui Province yesterday.

The 20-year-old traveler had decided to go shopping instead the day before because of the rain.

Forecasters say the sunny weather should continue until Wednesday.

Apart from the fine weather, relaxed ticket rules also helped boost visitor numbers.

A woman surnamed Shen from Harbin , Heilongjiang Province, paid an additional 40 yuan (US$6) to exchange her standard ticket for a peak-day entry to visit the Expo.

She said: "I don't have time for a trip to Shanghai, except during the National Day holiday."

Expo organizers said expired peak-day tickets can also be used as standard tickets and can be exchanged for peak-day tickets or night tickets.

To entertain visitors during the holiday, many pavilion put on a number of extra activities.

The Turkey Pavilion held a military band performance outside its pavilion and the Lithuania Pavilion launched a paper cutting show and class.

Zheng Rong, from Shenzhen, received a gift of two six-night accommodation packages in Oman and flights as the 3 millionth visitor to the pavilion yesterday.

With the Expo expected to attract a high number of visitors until it closes on October 31, a group of 22 Spanish volunteers arrived in the city yesterday to lend a hand. They will be on duty from Thursday after three days of training and will serve for a fortnight.

Most of the volunteers are in their 20s and 30s and speak fluent English. They will be matched with Chinese volunteers and their posts will be mainly near the Spain Pavilion and in the Urban Best Practices Area in the Puxi site.

They are the final batch of foreign group volunteers.

Meanwhile, the first of the final two batches of regular volunteers will start work today. They mainly come from Shanghai's Jiao Tong University and the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.


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