The Frame: Shanghai World Expo Opens

May 3, 2010

Shanghai World Expo Opens

SHANGHAI (AP) — A steady flow of visitors joined long lines in sweltering heat at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 on Sunday, a day after organizers said visitor numbers were just more than half of what was expected. Organizers say they are still grappling with estimates about just how many people will attend the massive event aimed at showcasing China’s rise as a modern industrial power. Early estimates put the number of visitors over the six-month run of the World Expo at 70 million, the vast majority of whom are expected to come from China.

High temperatures and bottlenecks at security checks and long waits to enter the various pavilions are challenging organizers. On Saturday, when the event opened, organizers said about 350,000 tickets had been sold for Day 1, but about 200,000 people attended. Events on Saturday continued well into the evening, with people still lining up at midnight to visit pavilions.

The European pavilions, which offer a wide range of entertainment, drink and dining, seemed to be attracting the largest crowds. China is splashing out 28.6 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) on the Expo itself, and many billions more on improvements such as public transit for this city of 20 million people. (28 images)

Shanghai’s Expo nearly ready – The Big Picture –

Shanghai’s Expo nearly ready

Organizers of Shanghai’s World Expo have been holding trial runs this week, before the official opening this Saturday, May 1st. About 70 percent of the nearly 200 participants participated in the trials, and visitors were already encountering long lines.

Officials now estimate the 6-month event, themed “Better City, Better Life”, will attract up to 100 million visitors, 95 percent of them Chinese. Shanghai has spent 400 billion yuan (58.6 billion US dollars) preparing for the Expo, according to state media – more than was spent on the Beijing Olympics. Collected here are photographs of last-minute preparations in Shanghai as they prepare to welcome the world this weekend. (37 photos total)

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