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Surprise visitor choice

THE Europe Joint Pavilion has been voted one of the most popular Expo attractions among visitors, second only to the China Pavilion, a month-long survey in Shanghai revealed yesterday.

The survey, arranged by Shanghai Daily and TouchMedia, was carried out last month among passengers on local taxis, and was based on answers from 137,391 people.

While the China Pavilion was, unsurprisingly, the favorite, the Europe Joint Pavilion took second place, ahead of the Saudi Arabia, Germany and Japan pavilions, even though these had gained much more publicity.

Agshin Aliyev, a media official with the Azerbaijan Pavilion inside the Europe Joint Pavilion, said he had heard the pavilion was popular with visitors and felt very happy about this.

Aliyev explained that inside the joint pavilion visitors can see different cultures, different civilizations and different political systems. "People can experience many different cultures by visiting one pavilion."

An Expo worker told Shanghai Daily that the Europe Joint Pavilion is one of the few pavilions where visitors do not usually have to queue, thus ensuring that it would receive more visits than more high-profile pavilions.

But when asked which pavilion they would like to see preserved after the Expo, nearly 20 percent of taxi passengers surveyed chose the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, followed by the Germany, Japan and United Kingdom pavilions.

Only the China Pavilion, along with the Expo Culture Center, the Expo Center, the Theme Pavilion and the Expo Boulevard will remain on the site after the Expo.

The survey also found that 58.2 percent respondents hoped other Chinese cities in future can hold another Expo.

And 31.8 percent said they were most impressed by the large numbers of visitors, while high-tech displays, architecture and volunteers were also praised.

Among those surveyed, 69 percent have been to the Expo site at least once; 35 percent said they visited twice; 15 percent had been there four or more times. Some 18 percent of passengers who haven't seen the Expo said they planned to visit this month.

According to the survey, seven out of every eight visitors are expected to have toured the Expo site when the six-month event ends on October 31.

In addition, more than 70 percent of passengers were positive about the city's public transport system, especially the Metro.

Almost 30 percent of respondents said they wanted to see the Expo site turned into an international trade and culture center, reported the survey.


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