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Expo bonus time for foreign travelers
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Foreign visitors with a transit visa in Shanghai should be able to stay in the city for a week instead of 48 hours during the Shanghai World Expo period in 2010, a senior official of the Expo organizing body said yesterday.

Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, suggested the transit-visa extension at a group discussion of the Shanghai delegation at the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing.

A transit visa is used for travelers with a connection in Shanghai who have some time to visit the city between flights. Travelers can apply for the visa at Pudong International Airport after landing.

The policy will give foreign visitors sufficient time to travel around, which will boost the tourism industry in the Yangtze Delta region, Hong said. It is "important to enlarge the Expo influence and share the opportunity with neighboring provinces."

World Expo Shanghai, to be held between May 1 and October 31 in 2010, has attracted 196 countries and international organizations, already breaking the record of 177 that the Hanover Expo set in 2000.

Shanghai organizers are expecting more than 70 million visitors to the city during the six-month event.

Meanwhile, Shanghai World Expo Land Holding Co Ltd yesterday launched a public survey for the Expo Harmony Tower, which will be renovated from a chimney at an old power plant at the Expo site.

"We would like to let people know about this project through the survey, and as the construction company, we would like to enhance the openness and public participation for this key project," said a company official.

Survey details, in Chinese, are available on www.expo2010china.com.

Questions in the poll include:

Is the renovation meaningful?

Is Expo Harmony Tower a suitable name?

Have you seen such a structure?

(Shanghai Daily March 9, 2008)

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