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(LEAD) Yeosu Expo visitor turnout surpasses 50,000 mark on Friday

All Headlines 16:04 May 26, 2012

(ATTN: ADDS with more information in paras 7-8)

YEOSU, South Korea, May 26 (Yonhap) -- The 2012 Yeosu Expo, which has been struggling with low turnouts, reported over 50,000 visitors entering the fairground for the first time on a weekday, organizers said Saturday.

Organizers said the number of visitors reached 54,474 on Friday, with the total number of people who visited the exposition hitting 565,718 since opening on May 12.

The increase was helped by Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth largest automotive conglomerate, hosting a "Big 5" concert of leading K-pop performers at the Big O concert venue at the center of the 250,000-square exposition ground.

The automotive group had invited such famous singers as Kim Gun-mo and Lee Seung-hwan, and groups like 2AM, Secret and MBLAQ for the evening event to mark "Hyundai Day."

Organizers said over 10,000 people were present at the concert venue for the show that began at 6:30 p.m. with many more in the nearby grass areas. Others watched on the 218-meter-wide screen in the digital gallery.

"The high turnout is a good sign of more people coming to the exposition in the coming days," an official said. Originally, up to 10.8 million people were expected to come to see the many attractions, shows and displays at the exposition.

He added that numbers for Saturday hit 59,094 as of 3 p.m., which is the highest so far for the time period. The official said that the spike can be attributed to a rise in people from other parts of the country since Monday is Buddha's Birthday, a national holiday in South Korea.

Organizers added that many visitors wanted to see the performance by U.S. singer John Legend, along with a special appearance by popular girl group Dal Shabet.

The exposition being held in the port of Yeosu, located 455 kilometers south of Seoul on the country's southern coast, will run for 93 days under the theme of "Living Ocean and Coast" with emphasis 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.

The Yeosu Expo is the first Paris-based Bureau of International Exhibitions approved event hosted by South Korea since the 1993 Daejeon Expo.


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