Olympic guests checking into Beijing hotels for the 2008 Games will pay much less for their rooms than participants at Athens in 2004.
Organisers yesterday promised that the city's large number of hotels meant room prices would be kept at a reasonable level.
"As Beijing has enough hotels, prices are sure to be lower," said Xiang Ping, vice-director of the Games Services Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
The average price for a five-star hotel room will be US$353, while that for four-star and three-star hotel rooms will be US$272 and US$176 respectively. This compares to prices of around 500 euros (US$628.9) for a five-star room during the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"As we promised in our Olympic bid, the highest price for a standard room for accredited participants will be no higher than US$370," Xiang told China Daily.
According to Xiang, up to now BOCOG has signed services contracts with 112 hotels in Beijing including 38 five-star, 40 four-star and 34 three-star hotels.
Together with the Olympic Village, the Athletes' Village and the Media Village, these hotels will accommodate 50,000 accredited athletes, journalists, officials and sponsors.
"The prices are based on quotes from all the hotels in 2005 and 2006, the hotel price increase rate in Beijing and its consumer price index," Xiang said, adding that the prices will be only a little bit higher than the present charges.
As for prices for tourists and spectators, Xiang said she hoped they would be similar to the contracted hotels' rates.
But tourism officials said hotels have the right to decide their own prices. "We suggest hotels set their prices according to market demand," said an official from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism. "We won't arbitrarily set the prices."
In Athens during the 2004 Games, hotel prices rocketed, putting off many potential sports fans.
The Beijing Tourism Administration estimates that during the 2008 Games, Beijing will receive 500,000 to 550,000 overseas tourists and spectators, while the number of domestic visitors will reach 2.58 million.
According to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, about 55 million overseas visitors came to China last year.
Source: China Daily