China earmarks 598 Olympic homes in Beijing

July 15th, 2008 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 15 (Xinhua) China has announced 598 homestays in Beijing for better communication between Olympic tourists and locals. As a supplement to Beijing’s hotel resources, the households can offer 726 rooms for more than 1,000 visitors, said Xiong Yumei, deputy director of Beijing Tourism Administration.

An authorisation ceremony for the families was held by the bureau over the weekend at Shichahai, a popular bar spot in central Beijing.

The “Olympic homestays” programme, created in April, offers foreign visitors a chance to experience Beijing citizens’ real lives.

Xiong said travel agencies from Japan, the US, Canada, Chile and Singapore have considered renting rooms in these families during the games.

Up to 450,000 overseas tourists are expected to arrive in August, including 120,000 for the sporting event, Xiong said.

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