Opening hours and the closing date for the Hong Kong Winter Carnival are being extending to meet public demand. The carnival has been overwhelmed by visitors and numbers are fast approaching the one million mark. The mobile funfair has attracted 800,000 people since it opened on December 6 in Hunghom. Organisers said the response was beyond expectations, and attributed the success to free entry and the fact more people were spending their Christmas holiday at home this year. The success of the $60 million event is in stark contrast to the EuroChristmas show in Wan Chai last year, which drew a barrage of criticism about the quality of its artificial snow and allegedly misleading advertising of its attractions. 'We don't have that competitive attitude to compare our event with EuroChristmas but with hindsight, our event offers a different form of entertainment and the Hong Kong public really appreciates that,' said Hans Lodders, managing director of organiser World Carnival Ltd. The carnival, which features 60 rides and games plus food stalls and attractions, was originally scheduled to run until January 12. World Carnival said the event would be extended by one day and opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays lengthened by one hour to 11pm. Mr Lodders said his company would like a longer run. That required further negotiation with the site's landlord - the Government - but he did not rule out further extending the event until the Lunar New Year. The event earlier triggered complaints when it raised the prices of some popular rides by between $10 and $20 each one week after opening. Grace Yu, public relations spokeswoman for the event, said: 'The first week was a trial period. We put up the prices of some rides later in order to shorten queues.' Mr Lodders said the event had been unexpectedly popular and would top its target of one million visitors. 'Maybe [the fact that less people travelled outside Hong Kong] is a factor for the popular demand. But the main reason is that there is no fixed price as there is no entry fee,' he said. Joseph Tung Yiu-chung, Hong Kong Travel Industry Council executive director, said the carnival beat the $13 million EuroChristmas 2000 because it was more popular with young people.