Last international preparation meetings before EXPO 2015 Opening

IPM 2015 Platform 10

The Expo Milano 2015 will open its gates in one-month-time and today, the fourth and last edition of the International Participants Meeting (IPM) and the third meeting of the Steering Committee take place in Milan, continuing and fostering the discussions and exchanges between the Organisers and the Participants.

IPM are organised annually during the years leading to the opening of a Universal Exposition. These annual meetings are a key stepping stone in the organisation of any Expo: the most important meeting and sharing opportunity for the Host Country, Participants and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).
The focus of this last edition is put on operations and on the functioning of the Expo as well as on the elements that would constitute the visitors experience.
This last EXPO 2015 IPM marks the end of a long phase of preparation and the beginning of the final stage and is critical since it gives the Organisers and the Participants the opportunity to clarify and exchange on all the outstanding issues.

The Secretary General of the BIE, Mr. Vicente G. Loscertales, in his introductory speech, stressed that Expo preparations and implementations mean "shared responsibility". He noted that the "the real strength of Expos lies in the interdependence between participants and organisers and on managing it properly from both sides".

The third meeting of Steering Committee, chaired by Ms Albina Assis Africano, Commissioner General of the Pavilion of Angola, takes place around the IPM. It provides an additional platform to rapidly address any critical issue addressed by the participants.

The Steering Committee, composed of 28 BIE Member States is an important element in World Expos. Its mission is to adequately represent all the Commissioner Generals of the Expo in matters of common concern before and during the Expo.

Both events provide additional opportunities for the Organisers and the Participants to strengthen their coordination and communication and to continue joining their efforts towards the final implementation of the Expo.

Expo Dubai 2020 is coordinating with the BIE the preparation of the Registration Dossier

Expo Dubai 2020 is coordinating with the BIE the preparation of the Registration Dossier

On March 23, 2015, Mr. Vicente G. Loscertales, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions, initiated a 3-day-working visit to Dubai to discuss the latest development of the Expo Dubai 2020 project in view of the submission of its draft of the Registration Dossier in summer 2015.

As stipulated in the BIE Regulations, any Expo project that has been selected by the BIE General Assembly, must submit its application for registration to the Bureau at the latest five years before the opening date. The final registration of the Exhibition is then granted by the BIE General Assembly upon previous examination and approval of the dossier by the competent committees.

Upon his arrival, Mr. Loscertales was welcomed by H.E. Mrs. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State, Board Representative of the Dubai EXPO 2020 Higher Committee and Director General, Bureau Dubai EXPO 2020 and H.E. Mr. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre.

The programme of this visit foresees that the Secretary General will have meetings with the relevant bodies and representatives of the Dubai EXPO 2020 Higher Committee to address the key elements associated to the Expo Dubai 2020 preparations, the progress report as well as the conceptual, strategic, legal, political and technical aspects of the Expo 2020 Dubai project to be reflected in the registration dossier.

Mr. Loscertales announced that he "was pleased with the progress made by the Expo Dubai 2020 and reiterated the BIE full support and commitment to ensure it is on course to present a global platform, address global challenges, and leverage the convening power of previous and upcoming Expos, including Expo Milano 2015, which opens next May 1st, 2015."

The theme of the Expo 2020 is "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". Dubai was selected the host city of the 2020 World Expo by the BIE General Assembly in November 2013. Running from 20 October 2020 through 10 April 2021, the Expo will launch the country's Golden Jubilee celebration and serve as a springboard from which to inaugurate a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.

The progress of the Expo 2017 project at the heart of the BIE Secretary General’s visit to Astana

The progress of the Expo 2017 project at the heart of the BIE Secretary General’s visit to Astana

The Secretary General of the BIE, Mr Vicente G. Loscertales, carried out a working visit to Astana on March 18 & 19. He met with the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr Karim Masimov, the Mayor (Akym) of Astana, Mr Adilbek Jaksybekov and senior officials of the Expo Astana 2017 institutions: the Chairman of the Board of the National JSC "Astana Expo-2017", Mr Talgat Yermegiyaev and the Expo 2017 Commissionner, Mr Rapil Zhoshybaev.

The main aim of the visit was the review of progress achieved in site construction and content development of the Expo. After technical meetings and inspection of the construction site, the BIE Secretary General expressed his satisfaction with regard to the progress of work, its quality and the build time.

During this winter, 3500 workers involved in the construction process have laid the pavilions' foundations and have even progressed in the building of their structures. According to the program established, the site should be ready to welcome Expo participants from the end 2016. Today, the Expo organizers are announcing that considering the results, the work can be completed towards the fall of 2016.

The Expo organizers also presented the designs of the Thematic Pavilions and the Best Practice Area: it was an opportunity to enrich the content of the event with the recommendations of the BIE.

The International Exhibition 2017 under the theme "Energy of the future" will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, from June 10 to September 10, 2017.

First AIPH Expo Conference in Paris

Horticultural Expo Venlo 2012

Horticultural Expo Venlo 2012

The International Association of Horticulture Producers (AIPH) hosted on March 19, 2015, its first International Horticultural Expo Conference in Paris, a new event open to anyone with an interest in international horticultural exhibitions.

The conference gathered speakers involved in the management of past horticultural exhibitions as well as representatives of the AIPH and the BIE. They shared with the audience their experiences and ideas for the optimal preparation and hosting of an exhibition and discussed Expo strategy.

Speakers highlighted in particular the best practices for achieving high quality and successful horticultural exhibitions, defined how to identify and implement an Expo theme and described the role of horticultural Expos in influencing city development and landscape design.

The BIE representative spoke about what makes Expos attractive from the perspectives of the host countries and cities, of the Expo participants, and of the general public. The audience learnt about the current programme of Expos and the BIE expectations for future A1 horticultural exhibitions as well as for the future cooperation between the BIE and the AIPH.

The organisers of horticultural exhibitions, among which Expo 2016 Antalya Turkey and Expo 2019 Beijing China, which both fall under the BIE and AIPH umbrella, made short reports informing the audience of the progress made and of their hopes for their Expos.

For more information on the content of the conference, please refer to the following website

Belgian enterprises preparing for World Expos

Belgian enterprises preparing for World Expos

Belgium has always been an outstanding protagonist of World Expos. It has organized Expos in its different cities and has participated with magnificent pavilions at exhibitions abroad.

At the same time, Belgian companies have been able to showcase their expertise and their products at many world and international exhibitions. It is within this context that the Federation of Belgium Enterprises (FEB) held on February 9th a round table dedicated to the participation of its members in future Expos. The event brought together Belgian companies, representatives of regional export and investment agencies, of the Food Industry Federation (FEVIA) as well as representatives of the BIE, of the Italian Business Confederation Confindustria and the Commissioner General of Belgium at Expo Milan 2015.

It is, indeed, the next World Expo in Milan, which has been at the heart of the debate, due to the intensive program of B2B seminars, which has been planned by the regional agencies in the Belgian Pavilion at Milan. There will be, of course, the promotion of traditional products, such as chocolate and beer (according to FEVIA statistics, the export of Belgian chocolate to China doubled in the period 2010-2013 after World Expo Shanghai). At the same time, an important place will also be given to sustainable eco-solutions in the agro-food sector, to biotechnology, to major issues on the international agenda related to nutrition, to investments and tourism.

The event highlighted that the upcoming Expos in Astana in 2017 and in Dubai in 2020, could also become soon a topic of discussion for the Belgian companies.

BIE-Cosmos Prize: a prestigious award for a project on Nutrition. Participate now!

If you are working on a project aimed at improving the situation of food and nutrition in the world, and need a little financing to help you go the extra mile, submit your project to the BIE, you might win the BIE-Cosmos Prize.

Expo Universelle Shanghai 2010 - BIE Cosmos Prize

The award for the project "For our girls" at Expo Shanghai 2010

Selected projects will have the chance to promote their work during the 6 months of Expo Milan 2015 and one project chosen by a jury of experts will be awarded a 20 000 € prize. The Prize will be given during the BIE Day at Expo 2015.

Applications are open until February 20th 2015! Download here the Prize Outline and the Application Form.

About the BIE Cosmos prize :

Created in 2008 by the BIE and the Expo 1990 Foundation, the BIE-Cosmos Prize rewards projects linked to the theme of Expos. It has been awarded to 3 projects since 2008. EXPO Zaragoza 2008 dedicated to Water and Sustainable Development awarded the 1st BIE-Cosmos Prize to an Argentine professor of biochemistry. The second Prize was awarded at EXPO Shanghai 2010 – Better City, Better Life - to a private non-profit organisation from Guizhou, China, for the project "For Our Daughters." At Expo 2012 Yeosu – The Living Ocean and Coast, the Prize went to the non-governmental organisation Yayasan Pulau Banyak for the project "Coastal community program focusing on flagship species conservation and eco-tourism, Aceh, Indonesia."

About Expo '90 Foundation:

Expo '90 Foundation (the Commemorative Foundation for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition, Osaka, Japan, 1990) was established for the continual commemoration of Flower Expo '90. Its responsibilities are to manage the Expo '90 commemorative funds and to promote activities that successfully develop the main theme of the Exposition - "the Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind." Through its activities, the Foundation aims to contribute to cultivating a healthy and enriched society.

World Expo Museum, a long lasting Expo. Interview.

The World Expo Museum, first museum dedicated to Expos, will open in Shanghai in 2016. Jointly developed with the BIE, the Museum will explain the concept and the philosophy of Expos, present their history and showcase Future Expos. The museum will also be the BIE official documentation centre.

Lorelei Liu, Director of the Museum, tells us about the content of the museum, its objectives, and how they are engaging with the local citizens and the international community to promote the project.

Ms Lorelei Liu - World Expo Museum BIE 156 GA


The key phrases of the museum are: "Window to the world", "dream of a nation", and "origin of innovation". Could you tell us in what way these three axes embody the essence of World Expos?

The content of the museum will be official and authoritative, which is why we have chosen 3 slogans that reflect the physical and tangible spirit of Expos.

Expos are "Windows to the World" because they are platforms where local citizens, foreign visitors and participants can discover the cultures of other countries. They are a space where nations from all over the world can showcase their social and cultural landmarks and present their innovations. A World Expo is like a mirror that reflects the development of society and the world civilization at a given time.

This gathering of countries brings forward cultural and innovative ideas, which brings us to the second key phrase "Origin of innovation". Innovation is part of the DNA of Expos, may it be technological or social innovation. Expos have witnessed breakthroughs in architecture as well as in women's rights or international traveling. Expos allow the development of future oriented ideas on the important themes for humanity.

Thirdly, "Dream of a nation" expresses the impetus given by Expos to local, regional and national development. Expos are a great source of diplomatic opportunities, economic exchanges and communication. With this message, we particularly target future Expos hosts.

World Expo Museum

The construction of the museum is well underway, could you tell us about the design concept?

The design concept is based on 2 main components: a rock valley and a cloud of glass. Together, they symbolize and combine history and future. The Rock Valley has a solid, stable aspect. It represents the past, the history of Expos. The Cloud has a more open and dynamic aspect. It symbolizes innovation, new ideas, the future.


The Museum will have 3 sections. Could you tell us about the curating process for each section?

The content of the museum is developed thanks to a close cooperation between the Museum and the BIE. We have put in place a joint working team, which will benefit from the collective wisdom of the Museum and the BIE experts. This team will keep to the principles of Expos and give an official and authoritative explanation of their history, their logic and their philosophy.

The 3 sections of the Museum are World Expo History, the participation of China to World Expos with an important focus on Expo Shanghai 2010 and future World Expos. The BIE will elaborate the content for the historical section, which will address many aspects of Expos such as international relations, economy and commerce, innovation, science and technology, urban planning, architecture, art and Expo themes. We are currently trying to increase our exhibit collection for this section and working on multimedia activities. For the section dedicated to Expo 2010 and China, we have a large collection of pieces. The third section will be an open space where new exhibitions will be held according to future expos. We will be in constant contact with future Expos in order to collect donations for the museum. We want to create a sustainable museum, open to new ideas.

World Expo Museum

A 3D image of what the history section could look like


What will be the key attractions or innovations of the museum?

3 key characteristics can differentiate the World Expo Museum from other museums in Shanghai and in the world:
First, it is truly International. Like Expos, the museum will be a window to the world and will allow citizens to learn about Expos and the development of society.
Secondly, it is future oriented. Its open spaces will welcome new content from future Expos. It won't be a static, but a dynamic and sustainable museum, open to the future.
And third, the museum will be open to the public and interactive. We position the museum not only as an academic centre but also as a cultural platform for citizens to come and participate in educational and cultural events, and in leisure experiences. For example, there might be lectures on Expo history, educational programs on future Expos and new innovative ideas, or "micro-diplomat" programs. The museum is designed to be as open and interactive as possible and welcoming for young people and all citizens.

World Expo Museum


Has there already been communication in Shanghai on the museum? How will you engage with the citizens before the opening?

Yes we have done extensive communication work. Actually, the Museum, whose objective is to pass on the legacy of Expos, preserve their essence and expand their effect, is the extension of Expo Shanghai 2010's communication plan.
This plan, developed in 2006, was divided in 5 stages. The last stages were called the "expand effect period".

An important element of this communication period is the launch, in September 2011, of a commemoration exhibition on Expo Shanghai 2010 that presents the highlights of the event and raises awareness on the upcoming museum. It has been open for over 3 years and a half and has welcomed 1,5 million visitors from Shanghai, China and abroad. This exhibition also allowed us to express our gratitude to the donating parties who gave over 20 000 exhibits from Expo 2010.

Another element of our campaign is the "routine" communication. We have an official website in Chinese and an English and a French version will be launched in the beginning of 2015. We also benefit from constant media coverage on key moments such as the beginning of the construction of the museum or our participation to Expo Yeosu 2012.

Our participation to all World and International Specialized Expos is the 3rd important aspect of our communication plan. It is a great way to engage with the international community and develop connections with the participants. At Expo 2012, more than 40 countries donated over 700 pieces to the Museum. It is also an important opportunity to conduct academia research on the events and exhibitions that take place during the Expo.


The Museum will be present in Milan. Could you tell us about this participation and how it will allow you to communicate on the Museum internationally, and also to gather new exhibition content?

In Expo Milan 2015, we will have a pavilion in a very central area of the site. We will present Expo history, the World Expo Museum and Future Expos, as well as special content related to the theme of Expo 2015. We will target visitors, participants, and the host country. We will also conduct an academic survey and research and ask for the support of participant countries to donate documents and collectibles to the museum. Signing ceremonies will be held for the donators. We will organize promotional events as well, in particular in June and on October 30th, which is the BIE day.

Future Expo Bids: the BIE visits Rotterdam

World Expo Rotterdam 2025 Logo

Following the announcement at the BIE General Assembly that Rotterdam was considering the possibility to bid for Expo 2025, Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, the Secretary General of the BIE, has been invited to the Dutch city to meet with government officials and the teams of World Expo Rotterdam 2025 Foundation.

During this two-day visit, the Secretary General will visit the city, learn about its history, dynamism and plans for the future. Tomorrow, he will attend a work session with the Expo project teams. He will meet with Mr Jan Peter Balkenende - former Prime Minister and partner at EY chair International Advisory Board Rotterdam, Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb - mayor of the city, Mr. Leendert Bikker - the Executive Director of Rotterdam 2025 , and many more.

Rotterdam 2025's preliminary project focuses on the theme « Changing currents, Deltas in transition » and aims at boosting the transition towards a sustainable circular economy. Starting as a private initiative, the project has found the support of the Rotterdam administration and has become part of its economic development strategy.

According to the BIE rules, Rotterdam will be able to officially submit its candidature dossier in 2016, along with other interested candidates.

For more information on Rotterdam's Expo project, visit the dedicated website.

Upcoming Expos: a full agenda at the BIE

On Nov. 26th, the BIE held its 156th General Assembly during which the advancements of upcoming Expos were presented to the BIE delegates.

La Triennale di Milano

The major point on the agenda was the recognition of the XX1 Triennale 2016. After several years of preparation, the Triennale di Milano can now officially start organizing the event and inviting participants. As is tradition, the BIE Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly handed the BIE Flag over to the Vice-President of the Triennale, Ms Clarice Pecori Giraldo and its Director General, Mr Andrea Cancellato.

triennale recognition

This particular recognition has a special significance as it marks the rebirth, after a gap of 20 years, of an Expo that has great historical importance in the BIE. "Milan Triennale was, in 1933, the first exhibition registered by and held under the BIE competence. This primacy flatters our pride, but at the same time may only increase our gratitude for the recognition that BIE grants to our constant activity" expressed Ms Pecori Giraldo.


Expo Milano 2015

Another Expo that will be held in Milan is, of course, Expo 2015 due to open in just a few months. Giuseppe Sala, Commissioner of the Government of Italy for Expo Milano 2015, updated the BIE on the progress of all aspects of the project. The recent announcement of the participation of the Netherlands and the reconfirmation of Turkey have risen the number of participating countries to 148. Construction on the Expo site has been accelerated and the current 1 600 daily workers will be increased to 2 600. 6,5 million tickets have already been sold. "This important result is encouraging in view of our challenging target of 20 million visitors" assured Mr Sala. Another good news is the successful call for Best Practices: 786 projects have been submitted. A selection committee will study these cases and 15 will be presented at the Expo.


World Expo Museum

The advancements of a major project co-developed by the municipality of Shanghai and the BIE, the World Expo Museum, were also presented to the Member States of the Bureau. Located on the former site of Expo Shanghai 2010, the museum will be the first dedicated to World Expos. It is due to open in 2016. "The World Expo Museum will undoubtedly become a cultural landmark in Shanghai and an important highlight in Shanghai's strategy to become an international cultural metropolis" expects Ms Lorelei Liu, Director of the Museum. The museum will present the history of World Expos, Expo Shanghai 2010 and Future Expos.


Expo Antalya 2016

2016 will be a busy year, as a 3rd project will be launched: the horticultural Expo Antalya 2016. Expo Antalya representatives are engaged in involving the international community in the event and are currently focusing on theme development and construction of the Expo site. They revealed the tower inspired by the shape of a palm tree that will become the symbol of the Expo and a great legacy for the city.


Expo Astana 2017

Since its recognition at the last General Assembly, Expo Astana 2017 has invited countries to participate as well as 12 international organizations. From now until 2016, Expo teams will travel the world to meet with State representatives and present them the Expo project. Expo 2017 has also launched a series of events to engage with potential participants, prepare the scientific content of the Expo and promote the event. "Kazakhstan is taking all necessary measures to ensure a successful Expo" assured Mr. Rapil Zhoshybayev, the Commissioner of EXPO 2017 and the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


Expo Beijing 2019

After Astana 2017, the next Expo will be the Horticultural Expo of Beijing 2019. The Expo will start inviting countries to participate in the first half of 2015 and, while preparing for the event, Beijing 2019 will be present in all upcoming Expos to promote the Expo. "The Chinese government regards Expo 2019 as an important platform to display its achievements in ecological conservation, promote international exchanges and cooperation concerning green industries and the philosophy of green development. » explained Mr. Whang Jinzhen, Vice-Chairman of the CCPIT.


Expo Dubai 2020

Dubai, who won the right to host Expo 2020 exactly one year ago, also presented how the project is moving forward. Last June, the Bureau Dubai Expo 2020 was formed to offer all stakeholders and team members a common working entity. "We have been building a very robust infrastructure that will allow us to deliver an exceptional event" said HE Mohammad Al Shaibani, Deputy Chairman of the Expo 2020 Higher Committee.


and beyond...

Expo 2020 isn't the last project in sight however. After the announcement in June that the polish city of Lodz might bid for Expo 2022, the delegate of the Netherlands to the BIE announced Rotterdam is considering the opportunity to present its candidature for Expo 2025. Both cities will be able to submit their project to the BIE from 2016.

4 years after Expo 2010, Shanghai celebrates the 1st World Cities Day

World Cities Day logo

Today, the whole world celebrates the World Cities Day, thanks to the joint efforts of the Chinese government, the UN and the BIE. This new Day aims at raising awareness on the challenges of rapid urbanization (in a few years, three quarters of the world population will be living in cities) and showcasing sustainable solutions to improve life in cities.

The idea to create such a day was suggested by Expo Shanghai 2010, the first Expo dedicated to the issue of urbanization. After 4 years of hard work, we hope the World Cities Day will contribute to the "New Urban Agenda" set by the UN.

Mr. Cheng Jian, in charge of news and promotion of the World Cities Day celebration, tells us about the objectives of this new World Day.


Mr. Cheng Jian, could you tell us about the story behind the World Cities Day?

Mr. Cheng Jian: The story starts with the Shanghai Declaration, presented during the Summit Forum, on October 31st 2010, the closing day of Expo Shanghai. The declaration, which was jointly issued by the UN, the BIE and the executive committee of the Expo, summed up the intellectual legacies of the exhibitions, events and forums that were held during the Expo. The declaration aims to be a useful roadmap for urban sustainable development.

A key element of this declaration, a milestone in the history of Expos actually, was the proposal to create a World Cities Day to recall, renew and advance the ideas and practices presented in the Expo. The ambition was to create a day that would inspire humankind in its enduring pursuit of urban innovation and harmonious development.


What are the objectives of the World Cities Day in 2014 with the theme "Leading urban transformation" and what are its objectives in the long term?

The whole world, and especially cities in developing countries, is currently facing a major urban shift that comes with great challenges and opportunities. The theme "Leading urban transformations" aims at raising awareness on the great development opportunities of a well thought sustainable urbanization. This Day aims at building a platform for developing countries to cooperate with each other and for developed countries to share experiences and help other countries to address urban transformation.

In the long term, the World Cities Day is expected to facilitate international cooperation among different cities worldwide, to bring about innovation and creativity for the sustainable development of cities, and to reinforce the role of the civil society in the development of solutions to urban challenges.


Could you tell us about the month of Urban October?

UN-Habitat has designated the entire month of October as Urban October, in order to address a wide range of urban-related issues and share knowledge and experience. Urban October - 31 days of promoting a Better Urban Future, aims at raising awareness, promoting participation, generating knowledge and engaging the international community towards a "New Urban Agenda".

Urban October consists of three major events organized by UN-Habitat: the World Habitat Day, which took place on 6 October 2014; the Urban Thinkers Campus that was held from 15-18 October in Carseta, Italy; and the World Cities Day. Alongside these main dates, UN-Habitat partners have organized local, regional and national events all around the world.


What is the difference between the World Habitat Day and the World Cities Day?

Both world days are the perfect setting for governments and partners to organize and promote actions and activities on sustainable urban development. Both world days are for raising interest on urban challenges and opportunities in the media and communications networks. Both days stimulate debates and encourage new commitments.

However, the two days focus on different issues. The World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter. The World Cities Day aims at raising awareness on the importance of urbanization for development and at encouraging cooperation among countries to address urban challenges in a sustainable way.


How is Shanghai celebrating this first edition of the World Cities Day?

Shanghai is celebrating the World Cities Day at the Expo Park (in the former site of Expo 2010) with about 300 participants. Attendees include high-level officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and other national governmental institutions in China, top officials from UN-Habitat and other UN agencies, Mayors and representatives of various cities around the world, representatives of universities, research institute, experts and scholars, and the media. During the afternoon, 6 forums linked to urbanization will be held.


How are the Chinese Government, the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and the UN working  together in the celebration of this day?

This first World Cities Day is hosted by Shanghai Municipal People's Government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, China and UN-Habitat. The Shanghai Municipal Government set up a coordination center for World Cities Day to organize celebrations, forums and other events during Urban October and a promotional campaign was launched to create momentum around the event.

The center launched an official website ( A short promotion film was shot and broadcasted in the city center as well as in many indoor and outdoor public advertising screens. We also printed 50,000 World Cities Day promotion posters and put them up in Shanghai's main streets and buildings. A World Cities Day Arts Promotion Week, was held from October 20 till the 28th: 5 concerts and 6 dramas and music shows on an open stage, have enriched the art life of the city and promoted the recognition of the World Cities Day. Overseas, promotional operations such as the month-long photo exhibition entitled "The Charm of Shanghai" co-hosted with the Coordination Center of World Cities Day, in Cologne and Houston, will give visitors a very deep impression.