City gives tickets, transport, time off
Preparations are still under way for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games but the city's residents are already beginning to see some benefits.
Last month, the city government announced a series of rewards to residents for their long-term support of the event. These benefits include free public transport, three extra public holidays and millions of free tickets.
The free transport is the most popular giveaway. From November 1 to 29 and December 5 to 21, anybody in Guangzhou can take the bus or subway for free on weekdays.
'It can help me save some money,' Du Deyan, who takes the subway to work, said. 'But why not let us also enjoy free public transport on weekends? Otherwise it seems the government is not generous enough.'
Other people are excited by the possibility of free tickets to the Games' opening ceremony, the Canton Tower and various cultural exhibitions and performances.
People can apply for the tickets through their neighbourhood committee centres. A draw will decide the winners.
'I want tickets to the Asian Games opening ceremony the most. A Canton Tower entrance ticket would be great as well,' Huang Zhiqin said, filling out an application form. 'But I know the quota is very limited. So if I am chosen, I will be amazed.'
Employees and students will have no work or school on November 12, the Games' opening day, November 26, the day before the event finishes, and December 13, the day after the opening of the Asian Paralympic Games.
'I'm very happy to have three extra days off,' primary school pupil Zhao Qianru said. 'I want to watch the opening ceremony of the Asian Games with my parents.'
In addition, the government plans to set up some free public Wi-fi zones from November 1 to December 31.
'Maybe these benefits still need to be refined,' government spokesman Ouyang Yongcheng said. 'We do hope they can make people more enthusiastic about and supportive of the upcoming Guangzhou Asian Games.'