Hotels: The Olympics Fail To Draw A Crowd

This year athletes from all around the world will be descending on Beijing for the summer Olympic Games. As well as this millions around the world who will be watching at home on their television screens as the events unfold and potentially a few records get broken.

Whilst the athletes will be flocking to Beijing the same can’t be said for large portions of supports and fans. Hosting the Olympics is meant to draw a much larger tourist crowd than has been reported for this year, it is a chance for countries to almost show off and show the world what they have to offer and maybe they’ll return some day.

The trouble with the Chinese Olympics is there seems to be a number of hurdles in the way for people to come to the country to enjoy the Games. Official figures from the tourism Bureau in Beijing state that tourism figures are down 12.5% from a year ago which seems crazy considering the Olympics are happening this year.

The worst hit for this slump in tourism are hotels and the lack of tourist spending, in what was meant to be an excellent year of fully booked hotels and free-spending tourists, many have asked the question why?

The reasons for this apathy seem to be multiple ones. Firstly the negative press that China has received recently with regards to its human rights record and the disputes over Tibet has spilled over in to the build up for the Games. The tour that the Olympic flame took around the world starting in Athens was severely disrupted on numerous stop offs including Paris, London and San Francisco. The aim of these protestors seemed to be to draw attention to the negative side of China and some may argue they managed just that.

Other reasons include strict visa laws meaning that it would be hard to get in to the country at all. The recent earthquake in Beijing has caused speculation with regards to personal safety which has led to a lack of interest from some parties.

These reasons seem to be why most hotels in china are going to be between 44% and 77% filled, one hotel owner said that this was disappointing since they were expecting this figure to be in the 90s generally but unfortunately many foreign tourists are not going to be filling the hotels this year.

While the Olympics this year will surely be worth seeing it seems that people are more interested in observing from the armchair than the stadium in China.

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