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(LEAD) Visitors to Yeosu Expo top 1 million

All Headlines 15:15 June 03, 2012

(ATTN: UPDATES with tour by Prince Albert II of Monaco and upcoming Buddhist conference)

YEOSU, South Korea, June 3 (Yonhap) -- More than 1 million people have so far flocked to the World Expo in South Korea's southern coastal city of Yeosu, organizers said Sunday.

The Yeosu Expo has attracted 1.03 million people as of Saturday since the 93-day fair opened on May 12, the organizers said.

If the current trend continues, the visitor turnout is expected to reach about 5 million, only about half of what South Korea had hoped to attract.

The organizers hope that vacationers and school students will visit the fair in Yeosu, about 455 kilometers south of Seoul, during their summer vacations.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has said he believes the Yeosu Expo will help promote the host city with a picturesque coast and rich historical and cultural legacies as one of the world's best tourist destinations.

The fair involves 104 countries, 10 international organizations and numerous companies, with emphasis on sustainable resource development, preservation and creative maritime activities.

Also on Sunday, Prince Albert II of Monaco visited Yeosu as the Monaco pavilion celebrated Monaco National Day.

Albert II called for wider society-wide participation as he cited Monaco's efforts to protect the marine environment through centuries. Monaco's 2.2 square kilometer territory is located on the Mediterranean coastline.

The Yeosu Expo is the first fair in South Korea since 1993 when the central city of Daejeon hosted an exposition.

Separately, some 1,000 Buddhist leaders from about 40 countries will hold an international conference in Yeosu from June 11-16, according to Buddhist officials.

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