Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Olympics Coming, and Rooms Are Available
June 24, 2008
China's Visa Policy Threatens Olympics Tourism
By DAVID BARBOZABEIJING
The plush lobby of Beijing's Kerry Center Hotel is usually crowded with foreign guests, many of them listening to jazz and sipping martinis in Centro, the hotel's fashionable bar, or lining up for taxis after dinner at the Horizon restaurant.
But Thursday evening, Centro had only a sprinkling of guests in a hotel whose occupancy rate is typically close to 100 percent this time of year. That night, the duty manager, said it was 63 percent."Something strange has been going on," said Sun Yin, the duty manager. "I really don't know what happened."
The New York Times does it again.
Just a few days after publishing one of the more interesting accounts about the intersection of China’s energy policy and its stock market comes this entirely unexpected snapshot of the Chinese economy just prior to the biggest event in the country’s recent history: the Olympic Games.
"Business is so bleak," said Di Jian, the sales manager at the CapitalHotel in Beijing. "Since May, very few foreigners have checked in. Ouroccupancy rate has dropped by 40 percent."
Many other cities in China are also feeling the pain of fewer tourists,including Shanghai, where some hotels say occupancy rates are down 15 to20 percent.
I ran the article by a friend who travels to China every few months—his company’s business depends on China’s manufacturing base—and his response was almost as interesting as the article.
“I think the article is very accurate.”
Read it for yourself. Rooms are available.
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Posted by Jeff Matthews at 7:54 AM