Shanghai Expo breaks 70 mln visitor target

More than 70 million people have visited the World Expo in Shanghai, exceeding the target set by organisers, official figures showed Monday, as the six-month event entered its final week.

About 70.7 million people had visited the world's fair in China's eastern financial hub by late Monday afternoon, a week after it broke the record of 62 million visitors set by the 1970 Expo in Osaka, the official website said.

The 70 million target was met on Sunday, the final day for people with ordinary tickets to visit the 5.3-square-kilometre (two-square-mile) park. For the final week, visitors need special "peak time" tickets to enter.

The exhibition of culture, ideas and technology from 189 countries and dozens of companies -- the largest Expo ever -- has been viewed as a showcase of China's political and economic clout and organisational abilities.

The record for most visitors in a single day was set on October 13 when 1.03 million people visited the site. Crowds surged again at the weekend, with about 830,000 people visiting on Saturday, organisers said.

State-owned enterprises have been buying tickets for their employees and organising group visits, helping to boost numbers, several visitors have said.

The Expo ends on Sunday with a gala closing ceremony to be attended by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other foreign dignitaries.

Source AFP