More than 100,000 people visited the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea on Sunday, 16 days after the opening of the grand international event. This was expected to quell fears of a failure to meet the attendance target, said the expo's organizing committee.
The committee said 107,293 people visited venues at the Yeosu Expo as of 6 p.m. Sunday for a combined attendance of 744,291.
○ Large crowds expose expo's shortcomings
The number of visitors to the global event is increasing by the day. The organizing committee said the three-day holiday including the Buddha's Birthday holiday on Monday will attract more people to the event.
A college student from Seoul said, "Havin so many people at expo venues is inconvenient, but having a lot of attractions is great", adding, "I am sorry that I couldn't see all of the exhibitions and performances in one day".
The attendance of more than 100,000 people has brought to light the many problems the organizing committee must resolve, such as concentration of visitors at popular exhibition halls, lack of convenient facilities, and traffic congestion near the expo venues. More than 1,000 visitors who could not make reservations for the eight main exhibition halls demanded refunds the same day. With irate visitors tangling with other visitors at the entrance of an aquarium, the operation of the facility was suspended for a time.
Roads around the venues and those surrounding the host city were packed with cars. With a few downtown parking lots filled to capacity, the organizing committee had a hard time finding more parking spaces for visitors.
The lack of convenient facilities such as restrooms, chairs and indication boards was another problem.
A committee source said, "With more than 100,000 visitors streaming in, some of them protested (inconveniences)", adding, "Based on the complaints, we're adding more convenience facilities".
○ Community facilities used as accommodations
Yeosu residents have stepped up to help resolve the lack of lodging facilities and traffic congestion. A community hall was offered as a lodging facility from Saturday to June 6 at the low price of 8,000 won per person. The 127-square meter facility charges only 8,000 won (6.80 U.S. dollars) per adult.
Leading Yeosu community member Kim Kwon-gwon said, "Senior citizens who use the hall initially opposed the idea of providing it as a lodging facility, but they agreed to it for a successful expo".
Yeosu is also providing campgrounds, churches and temples as accommodation venues.
Source : english.donga.com/srv... ( English Korean )
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