Speaking at the opening of the second day of the Worldwide Expo Commissioners Club taking place in Parma, the Sole Commissioner of EXPO 2015, Giuseppe Sala, illustrated the numbers of EXPO Milano 2015.
With regard to countries, with the formal adhesion of the Netherlands, made official today, the total number has risen to 129 participants. This is the breakdown by geographical area: 32 countries from Europe, 41 countries from Asia, 43 countries from Africa, 26 Countries from the Americas and three countries from Oceania.
In terms of exhibition space, 55 pavilions have already been completed while 50 are nearing completion. Eighty National Days have been confirmed in the six months of Expo Milano 2015: these are days dedicated to individual countries, with focus on their history, their traditions and their culture. 20 million visitors are expected, of which 12-14 million from Italy, 3.3-4.4 million from Europe and 2.7-3.6 million from non-EU countries.
Obviously the main curiosity concerns the progress of works, after the Secretary General of BIE, Vincente Loscertales, pointed out a few days ago with pragmatism that ‘”At five months from the inauguration, the situation is still somewhat difficult. Now the delays can be seen, but given the kind of exhibition and the architectures it will not be much of a problem to finish on time”. Thus hinting that not all pavilions will be finished on time.
The above video shows the progress of the Expo site on Monday, 1st December
“It is important to make a distinction between infrastructure works and those of individual countries related to Expo – explained Giuseppe Sala. Regarding the first, fundamental because we want only 20% of the expected 20 million visitors in Milan to reach the exhibition site by car, 80% have been completed, in line with the deadline that we set ourselves. We are doing a great job with Trenitalia: we estimate that one-third of visitors will come to Expo Milano 2015 by train. Turning to the works related to the exhibition areas, the responsibility of individual participants, a couple of countries are behind with their deliveries: nevertheless, we are confident that everything will ready by 1st May next”.
Giuseppe Sala also addressed the issue of Expo Milano 2015 from the financial standpoint: “The costs are in line with our forecasts: three years ago I personally endorsed a cut of approximately 300 million euros compared to the initial budget. The Universal Exposition in Milan will probably be the first great event implemented at a cost less than the initial budget. Much of the revenues will depend on ticket sales: at the moment we have sold 6.5 million tickets, at an average price of 22 euros each. Our goal is to sell 10 million before the official opening of Expo Milano 2015. Overall, our ambition is to sell 24 million tickets. In terms of sponsorships, at a time of macroeconomic difficulties, we have already raised the significant figure of 350 million euros. Another important revenue item will be represented by merchandising”.