Shanghai Expo: 30 million and counting

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World Expo attendance will reach 30 million this morning, the 82nd day of the fair.

The organizer said they expect attendance to be above 400,000 people per day from now until the Expo ends. This means the Expo will likely achieve the 70 million visitors that was predicted by the organizer before the event began.

An increase in students, people coming at night and group visits have led to higher attendance of late.

"We will have 35 million visitors by the end of July, which is the half way point of the Expo," said Chen Xianjin, deputy director general of the Expo bureau.

Chen added that Expo Shanghai has performed distinctly from previous Expos, where few people went in the first two months and then flocked to the events near the end.

"We still may see the same phenomenon for Expo Shanghai, but we have had a lot of visitors already," Chen said.

Schools and educational organizations across China now put the Expo at the top of lists for summer camps as "it can teach students what they can't learn in schools, is fun and helps them get some exercise," according to Li Youli, an official from a middle school in Hubei Province.

Li is the leader of a group of 45 eighth graders and the school will send five more groups this week.

It took 36 days for attendance to reach 10 million, 59 days to top 20 million and 82 to hit 30 million.

When Expo first started, daily attendance was around 300,000 and there were concerns whether the predicted 70 million could be achieved.

Since July 5, daily attendance has averaged 440,000. This was during a period with frequent thunderstorms and high temperatures.

It led the organizer to say that the weather hasn't really been a factor in people's decision on whether to visit the Expo.

There have been about 150,000 group visitors per day in July, about the same in June.

Saturdays have been the busiest. The daily attendance record was set on Saturday, July 17, when over 550,000 people turned up.

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