Individual tickets for Milan Expo 2015 will go on sale toward the end of September, Expo Commissioner Giuseppe Sala announced last Thursday at ceremony kicking off the construction of the Chinese pavilion.
Tickets will be sold online starting from “around September 20” at a maximum price of 39 euros. However, family discounts, discounts for one-day only tickets, and other offers mean that “the average reference price is 22 euros”, said Sala.
Five million tickets have been sold so far to the food-themed Universal Exposition running May to October next year, but all of them to tour operators, including one million tickets already bought in China. Twenty-four million tickets in total will be put up for sale, with the expectation of garnering 500 million euros and 20 million visitors for the world fair focused on nutrition, sustainable food supply, and cuisines from around the world. Sala also said Expo is working with the Emirati-Italian carrier Etihad-Alitalia “on the subject of routes, on how many more planes it is possible to have arrive in Milan” for Expo. The terms and nature of the partnership “will be announced in October, when I believe we will already have a pair of airplanes with the Expo logo”. The Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad Airways in August signed an agreement to take a 49% stake in the Italian flagship carrier, saving the ailing airline from the threat of bankruptcy. The merged Emirates-Italian carrier is the official airline of Milan Expo 2015. Sala attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the launch of the Chinese pavilion’s construction, where the Lion Dance was performed to the beating of drums. An elaborately costumed performer mimicked the movements of a lion in a traditional dance usually held during Chinese New Year, but also for festivals and other important occasions. The 4,590 sq meter Chinese pavilion being built in the Expo site – an area of more than 100 hectares near Milan’s massive Rho Pero trade fair exhibition centre – is the second biggest after Germany’s.
The Chinese state pavilion, however, is just one of three being created in a complex of Chinese pavilions. The other two will be erected by Chinese corporate interests at an investment totalling 60 million euros, Sala said.
The Chinese pavilion was designed by a Chinese architectural studio in collaboration with a Chinese university. The head contractor for construction is also Chinese, but sub-contractors performing the construction are Italian. Chinese workers will be brought in, however, to finish and furnish the pavilion. “Today’s ceremony marks the official beginning of the crucial phase of the construction. We are confident that the companies entrusted with realizing the Chinese pavilion will succeed in completing the work with speed and competence,” said Wang Jinzhen, commissioner China’s presence at Milan Expo 2015. Milan Expo 2015 marks the first time China has participated in a Universal Exposition outside of Asia. Milan Expo 2015 will embark on a roadshow to eight cities in eight different provinces of China beginning October 22 to drum up interest and pump sales well beyond the million tickets already sold to Chinese tour operators.