Eammon Pang
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Beijing hotels and Airlines slash rates for Olympics

Hotels in Beijing are slashing room rates for this month’s Olympics as the demand for hotel rooms are not as high as expected. It’s been reported that some hotels are cutting their price by 10-30% as demand falters, but I think the price cut came a bit too late.

How hotel rates have changed for the Olympics


Price in Feb 2008

Price in Jul 2008

Prime Hotel






Spring Garden Hotel



Howard Johnson Paragon



Best Western Premier



Double Happiness Hotel


£142Beijing now has more than 800 star-ranked hotels, but the high demand expected has not materialised. While the tighter security and visa rules have contributed the lower demands, the hotel businesses should really blame themselves for overambitious pricing at the very beginning.Hoteliers are blaming the lack of visitors on increased security measures and the tightening of visa rules, even for travellers who hold tickets for the Olympics. New visa requirements introduced in April mean that foreign visitors must now have proof of their accommodation and return flight when applying to enter, while the government has increased its military presence in the capital.Security measures include installing missile launchers close to Olympic venues... setting up checkpoints on the outskirts of Beijing and flying unmanned drones around the city during the Games.

Fears that the Olympics might be a target for terrorists have been heightened after explosions on buses in Kunding and Shanghai in recent weeks and a foiled plot to blow up a China Southern aircraft in March. Other concerns include China's handling of the Tibet situation, fears over pollution, the aftermath of the earthquake and the impact of the credit crunch.

Airlines have been forced to cut prices by up to 50 per cent in an attempt to attract last-minute visitors to the Olympics in Beijing. In February, the cost of return flights to Beijing during the Olympics started at around £1,200 with Air China and £1,500 with British Airways. Emirates is now offering return flights during the Games from as little as £497, Air China from £503 and BA from £972.I had been planning to visit Beijing, but gave up the idea because of the high accommodation costs. Some of the three-star hotels were charging £200 per night, which was quite outrageous by any standard. As much as I wanted to be in Beijing, I’m not ready to being ripped off like that… and I believe there are lots of other foreigners who are being scared off by the price as well.

It’s not the end of the day for these hotels though, despite a lower-than-expected occupancy, they should still be able to make handsome profits because of the high pricing. But overall, I’m afraid it’s the country’s image that is being dampened… the Chinese should see the Olympics to promote China to the world, and not just a short term event to bank in some money.It's a shame really.

almost 13 years ago 0 likes  2 comments  0 shares
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Well, I nearly got a job shooting / photographing the Olympics for one of the sponsor. What a shame! Yeah, wanted to go near the opening just to shoot some atmospheric stuff, but well as u said the accommodation cost is CRAZY. BEIJING is going crazy!
almost 13 years ago
Photo 16256
Who sets the hotel rates? the government? They obviously overestimated the demand. A couple of days ago I checked accommodation and airfare and it was almost attractive enough to pack up and just go. Unfortunately, the visa would've been the hold-up. Besides, with the BJ heat, no Olympic tickets in hand and my low enthusiasm for Olympics anyway, I'll just watch what little I'll watch on the telly. China has tried so hard and they're not going to get the payoff they wanted. I think Western media won't fail to bring up the toll on residents the games have taken...and everything else going on in prep and during the games (censorship, failure to curb pollution,...whatever comes up).
almost 13 years ago


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