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Yeosu Expo suffers from low visitor turnout

All Headlines 13:55 May 14, 2012

YEOSU, South Korea, May 14 (Yonhap) -- The 2012 Yeosu Expo suffered from very low visitor numbers in the first two days following its official kickoff last week, organizers said Monday.

Organizers said the number of visitors to the 250,000-square meter site fairground located 455 kilometers south of Seoul on the country's southern coast totaled 59,000 for Saturday and Sunday, just 10 percent of the number forecast for its first weekend.

Expo officials said they were ready to accommodate 150,000 visitors per day on holidays and weekends and 50,000-100,000 on weekdays.

For the entire 93 days of the exposition that is being held in the port city of Yeosu, organizers estimated more than 10.8 million people would see the many attractions, shows and displays.

The international fair held under the theme of "Living Ocean and Coast" and recognized by the Paris-based Bureau of International Exhibitions is focused on highlighting the important role the ocean and coast play in everyday lives and the need to live in harmony with the world's marine environment.

Officials speculated that three dress rehearsals held before Saturday that involved 110,000 people may have affected initial visitor numbers.

In addition, the heavy reliance on "virtual reality images" at various national and corporate pavilions caused some people to complain about a lack of content.

Despite such criticism, Yeosu officials remained upbeat, and said crowd turnout at many past expositions started slowly before picking up pace.

"The 'Big O' show centered on a floating entertainment structure and fountain has received praise, while South Korea's largest aquarium with its 33,000 marine animals from 280 species on display is a hit," an official said. He said since the exposition runs through Aug. 12 there is plenty of time for people from all over the world to visit.


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