CIIE making things easier for foreign visitors


A multilingual map board inside the expo venue's compound.

A banner celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China is shown inside the venue and will be seen during the expo.

Multilingual signs and more interpretation device renting spots are some of the efforts expected to help foreign visitors get around during the second China International Import Expo.

Smart robots in the shape of Jinbao, the expo mascot, will also lend a hand, staff at the National Conference and Exhibition Center said on Wednesday.

“I’m here” directions marked in English, Spanish, Russian, French and Arabic are a new feature on map boards in the venue. Directions for entrances, underground garage entrances, public transit hubs, car parking areas and subway station entrances are also marked in the five languages.

Distances to the squares and exhibition halls inside the venue are also marked on map and sign boards.

Around 1,200 signs will be modified and some 600 added with multiple languages, according to the venue's operation center.

To guests who don’t speak Chinese, interpretation devices can be rented at about 80 spots in the venue. Last year, there were just 16 such spots.

As last year, students studying foreign languages at Shanghai International Studies University and language experts from translation companies will be on standby to help visitors who speak lesser spoken languages.

The “Jinbao” robots, tailor-made for the event, will be in action at about 20 spots, providing navigation and event calendar information.

This year, the venue will have several rest zones for visitors with drinking water facilities. Another 600 chairs, where visitors can charge their phones, will be added to the current 400 in the venue.

Wang Yuxian, assistant to the operation center's general manager, said an app guiding visitors inside the venue will be upgraded this year.

“It will be more accurate and incorporate translation functions, and more importantly, the guests will have a smoother experience finding their way inside the multilayered venue directly from an outside spot,” she said.

Also, more medical assistance and lost and found spots in the venue will be added for the event.

Fun expo

This year, a showcase of China’s intangible cultural heritage and time-honored brands will be held alongside the expo to present Chinese folk culture to the world and entertain visitors.

Shanghai as the host city will present its cultural heritage such as Shanghai-style furniture, paper-cutting and Jinshan peasant art, while cultural memories of other parts of China will also have a presence, such as Weifang kites from Shandong Province.

On the central square, there will be 63 performances from six countries ranging from singing, dancing and a folk orchestra to stage dramas and Chinese opera during the expo.

A highlight will be a Chongqing hot pot 10 meters in diameter on the northern square. The hot pot, a typical two-flavored one, will hold spicy and non-spicy soup. Visitors can try sauces with food samples.

The Chongqing hot pot which will be on display during the expo.

The expo will be held from November 5 to 10. The first expo last year drew over 3,600 businesses from 151 countries and regions and over 800,000 visitors.

Source: SHINE Editor: Yang Meiping

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