Room reservations up in Beijing as Olympics draws closer

July 16th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 16 (Xinhua) Hotels in Beijing have witnessed a rise in hotel reservations as the host city’s tourism is being boosted by a influx of visitors with less than a month left for the Olympics starting Aug 8. The Beijing Tourism Administration (BTA) indicated that the city-wide booking rate of guest rooms in March had gradually increased by three percent over the same period, which was expected.

“By the end of May, 77.6 percent of five-star hotel rooms had been booked, which was our expectation,” Xiong Yumei, deputy director of BTA, told journalists at a press conference in the Main Press Centre (MPC) here Tuesday.

Xiong also said that the Games were expected to attract between 400,000 and 450,000 overseas visitors, in addition to the athletes and home visitors from across the country.

Officials of BTA are confident that the accommodation and reception capacity in Beijing could meet the diversified demands during the Games.

According to Xiong, more than 115 top hotels with favourable location advantages will be designated reception sectors for the Olympic related service.

For visitors and spectators, more modest tourist hotels and some special “homestay” rooms will be offered.

The “Olympic homestay program”, which was launched early this month by the BTA, was referred to the 598 evaluated and selected families who will provide 726 guest rooms and receive more than 1,000 tourists from home and abroad.

With this program under the way, many foreign visitors have shown their interests in it. According to BTA, a Japanese travel agency has purchased 200 tickets for the Games and is negotiating about the “homestay” issues for their clients.

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