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Easy-access entrances blocked at pavilions

[ 2010-06-04 10:47]     字号 [] [] []  
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Some pavilions have made changes to easy-access entrances and stamps on Expo passports in reaction to growing chaos among tourists at the Expo Garden.

"Due to the increase of tourists, serious disputes between tourists and our staff have occurred a few times over the easy-access policies in the pavilion. We've made the decision to shut down the easy access temporarily," said Lynn Yang, communication director of the Sweden Pavilion.

The Sweden Pavilion cancelled the easy-access entrance for the disabled, elderly, pregnant women and babies early this week. According to statistics, the average number of tourists for the Sweden Pavilion is 20,000 a day, and 20 percent of them use the easy access.

Official statistics from the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination showed that the total number of visitors has exceeded 8.7 million, and is expected to exceed 10 million by the end of this week.

"Still, we will let certain tourists who really have difficulties with long-time queuing enter the pavilion via easy access. We just want the tourists to understand that we have a duty to maintain order in the pavilion," Lynn said.

Similarly, the Poland Pavilion has changed the target groups for easy access or VIP access according to peak and off-peak hours.

"The easy-access entrance won't be open to the elderly but only to the disabled and pregnant women during peak hours, considering the safety and security issues," said Li Jialiang. The operations manager of the Poland Pavilion promised that the longest wait time for the pavilion wouldn't exceed half an hour.

Some tourists have fought with staffers and pretended to be disabled, which has been noticed by crews at the Expo Garden.

"Some people sit in wheelchairs when they approach the express entrance," said Su Tieshan, a gatekeeper at the express entrance of the Australia Pavilion. "When they get into the pavilion, they walk around as a normal person."

For some tourists, the changes at easy-access entrances were an annoyance.

"I came to visit the Sweden Pavilion with my 73-year-old mom, but they refused to let us take the easy access. Although my mother is not old enough to use a wheelchair, standing in line for an hour is too tiring for her," said Cao Yongbing from Liaoning province.

In addition to the changes at easy-access entrances, pavilions have restricted the stamps on Expo passports or even cancelled the stamping service altogether.

So far, only Norway Pavilion has confirmed that the stamping service has been called off.

For the other pavilions, the number of stamps one person could get is limited to prevent scalpers from earning money with Expo passports.

Both the Indonesia and Ireland pavilions have limited the number of stamps for each person to two, while the Poland Pavilion allows four stamps and Finland offers five.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Easy-access entrances blocked at pavilions

About the broadcaster:

Easy-access entrances blocked at pavilions

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.