As a follow up to the previous post, here are two articles from the English language daily Korea Herald, one titled “Yeosu aims for visitor-friendly Expo” and the other headlined “Yeosu Expo to highlight marine development.”
The first article begins “The southern coastal town famous for its seascape and bountiful seafood is in the final stages of preparation for the World Expo,” and goes on to talk about the construction, preparations and events leading into the Expo.
The Organizing Committee is quoted as saying that 93% of the construction is finished and that all facilities will be completed by the end of February. They also state that after the Expo has run its 93-day course, most of the exhibition halls will be dismantled. A Yeosu University architecture professor in one of my classes told me this a few weeks ago, and I was kind of dumbfounded to hear that many of the buildings will be up for only three months. One of the themes of the Expo is sustainability for the future, so this demolition seems to run counter to that theme. “What a shameful waste,” I thought. But, apparently, most Expos tear down a majority of the buildings after their exhibition is finished. Plus, I suppose you have to throw in the cost of maintenance for these large structures, and you have to wonder just how much and what kind of use they would get to justify the cost of keeping them open. The prof told me that the aquarium, the hotel and a few other buildings would remain open. Hopefully, Yeosu will get enough of a tourist uptick from the aquarium alone to keep the remaining structures (whatever they are) open. The area itself, even without the buildings, will still be a beautiful addition to the Yeous harborscape (as long as it’s maintained and kept clean).
The second article gives an overview of the Korean government’s future economic hopes for the south coast of the country and relates how the Expo can boost regional growth and development.
It [the Korean government] also believes the Yeosu Expo will speed up not only regional economic growth but also boost balanced domestic development.
The event is projected to generate about 12.2 trillion won ($10.8 billion) worth of production and create about 5.7 trillion won in added value, as well as 80,000 jobs.
That’s a lot of money and jobs! Both articles also state that over 8 million visitors are expected over the three-month period. Let’s see, 8 million divided by 93 is, ummmm, about 86 thousand visitors a day, on average. I expect the weekend totals will be much higher, so I’ll stay away, mostly, on Saturdays and Sundays. Hope it all works out. More later.