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Chinese Tourism Expects a Boost from Olympics

BEIJING, July 18 -- "It's great that Beijing has won the right to host the 2008 Olympics Games. We can expect the city to become one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world," Zhang Wenjia said excitedly in a tele-interview.

The chief representative in China for Switzerland Tourism pointed out that Beijing, a city with a long history, would host more and more foreigners in the next few years, amid rapid urban construction.

Zhang noted that the tourist sector has best witnessed China's thriving economic growth and its opening up to the outside world.

Perhaps the Olympics will not bring benefits to urban construction of other regions than Beijing. But as for tourism, that is another story, as most foreigners traveling to Beijing would often ask themselves, "Where is my next destination in China?"

"The bid success will also be conducive to building tourism infrastructure in different places. I estimate that local tourism bureaus will come to Beijing to do promotions before and after the Games," said a senior official with the China National Tourism Administration.

Many scenic spots will take active measures to improve their management levels, in the hope that they can be listed as one of the Olympics tour destinations.

Zhang said that Beijing's success demonstrates the strong confidence the world holds in China and it is a positive gesture to China's fast-growing economy.

She hopes more Chinese tourists go to developed countries, like Switzerland where they can learn from their visits and prepare to be Olympics volunteers.

Some domestic cities have sent people to Davos, a Swiss city famous for holding international conferences, in order to learn advanced management expertise.

At the same time, the Chinese people may be trained in the celebrated Swiss hotels to better serve Olympics guests.

Xu Shengli, a representative in China for the German National Tourist Office, said that Beijing's success will generate enormous power to stimulate the tourism industry just like nuclear fissions.

He said, the modernization of tourism demands constant exchanges among various nations. Beijing will host tens of thousands of international athletes and coaches, and embrace an unprecedented tourism wave in the next seven years."

Besides, Beijing can learn from Germany in terms of environmental protection and the efforts it contributes to energy saving.

Liu Dunren, director of the Canadian Tourism Committee in Beijing office said, "I am so gratified at Beijing's success. Montreal, where I used to live, has held the summer and winter Olympics. I believe Beijing will be more successful in seven years."

It is reported that several Chinese business investigation groups and individual tourists have traveled to Canada to learn advanced management.

Yu Changjiang, director of Beijing Municipal Tourism Administration, said, "We have changed the projected tourism growth target of four percent to eight percent after Beijing won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games."

The number of star hotels will be doubled by 2008 and the reconstruction project of public toilets, with 200 million yuan investment, will be completed in due time.

Authoritative statistics show that the number of foreign tourists traveling to China totals 10 million annually, bringing in 16 billion U.S. dollars worth of business volume.

In the next seven years, China's annual tourism income will increase 18 percent year-on-

year, according to an estimation from Goldman, Sachs and Corporation. Ye Zhen, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that the preparatory work for the Olympics will raise the gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.3 percent year-on-year.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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