Shanghai Ignores Olympics, Gears Up For 2010 World Expo

SHANGHAI : Although the 2008 Beijing Olympics has been described as China’s coming-of-age party, not everyone is caught up with the Olympics fever yet.

And that includes the country’s financial hub Shanghai, even though it is a co-host city for the summer games. The financial hub will see a total of 9 men and 3 women soccer matches.

Although security has been tightened at airports and the subway, there is not much of an Olympic celebration in Shanghai.

A Chinese resident in Shanghai agreed: “No, not at all. Perhaps there might be some banners, but there isn’t a real feeling of the Olympic spirit.”

Instead of the five Olympic Fuwa, what you do see a lot of here is Haibao – the mascot for the World Expo which Shanghai will be hosting in 2010.

In fact, newspapers in the city provide daily reports on the preparations for the World Expo. Even Shanghai’s famous bund is undergoing a massive renovation for the international event. And come 2010, the city is expecting a huge jump in tourist numbers for the World Expo.

“I don’t know Beijing’s number, but we are expecting 70 million domestic and overseas tourists during the Expo, that’s a large number,” said Zhao Renrong, a senior economist with the Shanghai Hotel Industry Association.

So even before the Olympic Games get underway, China’s financial hub is all ready to welcome its big event – the World Expo – in 2010. – CNA /ls

Channel News Asia

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