Free tickets 'on sale' inside Expo Garden
( 2010-05-21 )

Tickets to the China Pavilion, which are usually handed out to visitors free of charge at the entrance of the Expo Garden, are being sold inside the venue for up to 100 yuan each by people claiming to work for tourism agencies, according to a news report.

The tickets are also being sold on the Internet for as much as 350 yuan each, the Youth Daily reported, giving rise to doubts over the proper distribution of tickets for group visitors.

The China Pavilion is the top attraction in the 5.28-square-kilometer Expo Garden.

Some 40,000 tickets to the China Pavilion are handed out to visitors at the Expo Garden entrances every day. Each ticket indicates the time the holder can visit the pavilion.

The daily attendance at the Expo is about 280,000, which means only one in seven visitors can get into the China Pavilion.

It has caused a huge demand for tickets, with people lining up as early as 4 am each day at the entrances hoping to get their hands on one.

The tickets are snapped up soon after the Expo gates open.

Under the current distribution plan, one-third of the China Pavilion tickets are allotted to group visitors, while the rest are distributed to individual visitors.

Expo organizers said the printing and distribution of the tickets is 'open and fair' and the distribution plan will not change in the foreseeable future.

But a reporter from Youth Daily said she encountered people peddling the tickets near the European Square and, after bargaining, purchased one for 60 yuan.

A young man approached the reporter on the afternoon of May 19 and offered to sell the tickets at a "discount", the report said.

The man, who claimed to be a guide for a tourism agency, said his vouchers were "leftovers" from a tour group visiting the China Pavilion and asked for 100 yuan per ticket.

The man had approximately 30 such tickets printed with a visiting time of between 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, the report said.

The scalper told the reporter that the tickets were genuine and offered to take her into the China Pavilion. The reporter gained entrance to the pavilion with the ticket.

He also offered to leave a phone number with the reporter, claiming he could obtain tickets every day.

Tickets to the China Pavilion are also being traded on the Internet for up to 350 yuan each, said the report.

The online seller also claimed to be working for tourism agencies.

Organizers plan to keep the China Pavilion open after the Expo ends on Oct 31 to allow more people to visit. Visitors can also tour the China Pavilion and other structures online at


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China and the World Expo