Olympic Games Not Performing For Beijing Businesses

The economic boost expected from Olympics-related tourism has fallen way short of predictions in Beijing. Many business people blame the government's stringent visa-granting policies.
August 19, 2008, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"A global event like the Olympics is normally the goose that lays the golden egg for a city's hospitality industry. It should mean hordes of visitors caught up in the exuberance of the Games and their surroundings, eager to spend on hotels, meals, and travel."

"But as Beijing 2008 heads into its final lap, the promise of a tourism bonanza remains unfulfilled. Hoteliers are struggling to fill rooms. A media center for journalists not accredited to the Games is mostly empty of foreigners. Families hoping to rent a spare room to foreign guests have waited in vain."

"Sky-high hotel prices – as much as $1,000 a night for a three-star hotel – may have hurt bookings. But hoteliers, tourist officials, and foreign consultants to the Olympics mainly blame the difficulty many foreigners have faced in obtaining visas, and negative perceptions of the host nation."

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Published on Monday, August 18, 2008 in The Christian Science Monitor
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