Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Empty seats and hotels in Beijing

According to the Washington Post, there are plenty of empty seats at the events in Beijing, despite the mad rush to acquire them in the first place. Also, more startlingly, even the hotels are empty:

Others said the more strict visa restrictions in place this year could be keeping foreign ticket holders away. Across Beijing, hotels and tourist sites are reporting below-average attendance for August. Many of the foreigners in Tiananmen Square, under tight security for the Games, are not individual tourists but part of Olympic delegations.

"Business is worse than at this time last year," said a receptionist at a 22-room hotel in Beijing's Chongwen district, where rooms cost $28 a night. "It's the season for traveling and last year the hotel was full. The Olympics should have brought business to Beijing, but the reality is too far from the expectation."

What d'ya know – people don't like putting up with police states!

More on not-so-economically-stimulating Olympic games here, with the complete Olympics archive here.