Beijing hotels slash rates as tourist fail to show during Olympics

23 July 2008 by
Beijing hotels slash rates as tourist fail to show during Olympics

Hotels in Beijing are cutting their rates by as much as 30% after the expected tourist influx for the Olympics failed to materialise.

According to the Mail on Sunday, many of China's capital's three- and four-star hotels have slashed their prices.

Average room prices in three-star hotels are down to £30 per night, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, with four-star hotels dropping their rates to £60 a night.

Beijing was expecting 500,000 foreign guests for the Olympics, but has been scaling back that estimate.

It is believed people have been scared off by high prices, visa troubles and the perceived overly-regimented approach to security.

In preparation for the Games, China has also tightened visa rules even for foreign travellers who hold Olympics tickets. Multiple-entry visas have also been restricted, causing a drop in business travel.

Eric Wong, co-head of Asian Real Estate Research with investment bank UBS in Hong Kong, said the drop in rates resulted from a "combination of overambitious pricing and the new security measures, which took many hotels by surprise".

Earlier this year industry experts warned against UK hotels overcharging during the London Olympic in 2012, as it would damage the tourism industry in the longer-term.

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By Gemma Sharkey

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