On Friday June 25, the Norwegian pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai EXPO welcomed its visitor number one million.
At first, the 48-year-old AC technician Zhu Xingwei from Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, thought he had done something wrong as he was pulled aside and congratulated by State Secretary Halvard Ingebrigtsen from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Pavilion Director Espen Guterud and General Commissioner Arild Blixrud.
– I’m so happy to be the visitor number one million. Me and my wife chose to go to the Norwegian pavilion because we liked how it looked from the outside, but we had never thought we would get to experience anything like this, says Zhu Xingwei.
As gifts he got a diploma, the collected works of Norwegian author Knut Hamsun in Chinese and a four-course dinner for him and his wife at the Norwegian pavilion’s seafood restaurant, among other things.
The day marked the end of the Norwegian Tourism Week, which has been aimed at making Norway a more attractive travel destination for Chinese tourists.
With a daily average of 20 000 visitors, the Norwegian pavilion is now on track to exceeding the initial estimate of three million visitors for the duration of the EXPO by a half million.
– EXPO has been an amazing success so far, and I’m pleased to see the Norwegian pavilion take part in it, says State Secretary Ingebrigtsen.
The Norwegian pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai EXPO is one of the largest tree buildings constructed in China over the last fifty years. The pavilion has been designed by Stavanger-based company Helen & Hard, and shows Norwegian nature, economy and culture through video art and tree installations. It has gained much attention for its unique architectural style.