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Hotels raising prices for World Expo

The cost of a hotel room will be going up during the World Expo.

According to travel service Ctrip.com, room rates will cost an average 20 percent more than normal. The figure is based on the prices already announced by about 80 percent of Shanghai's hotels.

The biggest increases will be seen at cheaper hotels which will be the first choice of visitors with families, said Ctrip's Yang Lei.

For example, the price of a standard room at the Hanting Inns and Hotels chain will be about 55 percent higher in May compared to April.

The rise will also depend on transport and location. Hotels near the Expo site and convenient transport links will have bigger rises than others.

The Starway Hotel chain, which has branches near Metro stations, is to increase rates by 25 percent after the Expo begins.

Luxury hotels will be raising prices by about 8 to 19 percent. The average room price at five-star hotels will be around 1,400 yuan (205 U.S. dollars), while a room at a four-star hotel should cost about 700 yuan, the company said.

Shanghai has about 6,670 hotels and local tourism authorities said that every day about 500,000 people would be staying in local hotels during the Expo, which runs from May to October.

There are fears that there could be a shortage of 50,000 to 100,000 beds on the 24 weekends and 17 special days during Expo. It is expected that some visitors will stay in hotels in nearby provinces or stay in residents' homes.

The Shanghai Tourism Administration is to establish an online platform giving visitors hotel information.