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US pavilion most anticipated in 2010 Shanghai World Expo:survey

Updated: 29 Jan 2010
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US pavilion most anticipated in World Expo
Construction workers stand beside a sketch of the US pavilion
for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. [File photo]
 
SHANGHAI: The United States' pavilion is the most anticipated foreign country exhibition center in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, a survey has revealed. This is despite the country being one of the last to confirm its participation.

The most anticipated foreign pavilions were ranked in the order of people's intention to visit. The online survey of 15,000 respondents showed the US topped the list at 48 percent, France next at 38 percent, the United Kingdom at 32 percent, Japan at 32 percent, and South Korea at 28 percent.
 
"Familiarity with the country still is the top motivation for visiting pavilions, as indicated by 90 percent of the respondents," said Debby Cheung, group managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations China. "This explains why the American pavilion, although the 240th to confirm its participation, is No 1 on the list."

But other factors also drive the trend, Cheung added.
 
 
Pavilion theme is one of the most important factors in determining their popularity. Pavilions need to promote a powerful theme that reflects both the contents of the pavilion and the country's brand to create greater familiarity and bring in more traffic, Cheung suggested.

The Denmark pavilion, with its promotion of the "welfairytales" (a blend of the words "welfare" and "fairytale") theme featuring a little mermaid, has been voted the most beautiful foreign country pavilion with 55 percent of the respondents thinking it is "very attractive". Its ranking in the list of pavilions to visit also climbed from 24th to 20th. 
 
Other factors that may affect visitors' choices include art and culture exhibitions, high-tech experiences and interactive activities.

Across the board, countries participating in the expo have seen an improved image in the minds of the Chinese people. The US, Japan and Germany are viewed as the most technologically advanced, while French, Brazilians, Australians and Singaporeans are deemed the friendliest people. Egypt is highly regarded for its history and culture, while South Africa and Iceland promise nature and exoticism, according to the survey.
 
The polling also indicates that percentage of people with a rich knowledge of the expo has increased from 14 percent to 28 percent compared to 10 months ago. More than 60 percent of respondents expect to learn about better urban living, sustainability and new innovations. The number of respondents confirming that they will attend the event has increased from 8 percent to 11 percent, with more than 60 percent of the visitors expecting to spend more than 1,000 yuan there.
 
World Expo 2010 Shanghai has clearly evoked Chinese citizens' interest in learning about the world beyond China, said Jason Spencer, managing director of Millward Brown ACSR Shanghai.

"The Shanghai Expo Bureau has done a great job of raising awareness of the event and encouraging Chinese citizens' curiosity in the world," Spencer said.

"I think which pavilion to visit is a highly personal choice, as it mainly depends on one's affection for a specific country," said 26-year-old Guo Yuqi. "But I'll try not to miss any country's pavilion on this mini-globe upon my door step."
 
SOURCE: By Bao Daozu (China Daily)
 
 
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