Sweet home-stay for foreigners during Expo

By Wang Zhenghua and Shi Yingying (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-07-10 13:02
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One of the earliest applicants, Wu's family is located on the top floor of a six-story apartment building in a well-greened community. It is next to a street lined with restaurants and provides easy access to the expo garden by subway.

Suggesting she has a high threshold for pain, Wu said she would welcome cigarette smokers and all-night party-goers alike, as well as people of any religious denomination.

"We are easy-going people," she said.

Meanwhile, Zhang Lanyou, another applicant, has already emptied a 16-sq-m room in case she gets the green-light. But guests need to be vegetarian to enjoy her cooking, warned the 62-year-old retiree.

Hotel rush

Major internationally branded hotels are offering a total of 6,800 rooms to bump up the supply to 25,800 by the end of this year, according to real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

Sweet home-stay for foreigners during Expo
Shanghai resident Wu Guoxiang says she is ready to welcome all guests including smokers and all-night party goers. [Photo by Wang Zhenghua/China Daily] 
"There were 325 star-rated hotels in Shanghai at the end of 2008 but this number will jump to 500 before the expo," said Dao Shuming, director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration.

"These star-rated hotels, along with 4,000 other hotel rooms, will offer a total of half a million beds by 2010."

The Ritz-Carlton Pudong, which is set to open in April just before the expo kicks off, will offer 285 guest rooms. These will range from 50 sq m to 400 sq m, with a palatial presidential suite currently under construction to rank as one of the best accommodations the city has to offer. The hotel is one of 58 star-rated hotels currently being built in Shanghai.

As a last resort, hotels in Shanghai's neighboring cities will help plug the gap during the expo.

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