Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Asian Games provide tourism windfall

Turbojet to Macau from Hong KongImage by Michael McDonough via Flickr

BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- With some 150,000 overseas and 500,000 domestic tourists expected in this southern city during the Asian Games, its global image is in for a boost, along with its coffers.
Yin Tao, director of the Institute of Industrial Economy and Enterprise Management under the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said the city's tourism revenue is expected to receive $80 million from overseas tourists and 1 billion yuan ($147 million) from domestic ones during the Games.
In preparation for the influx of visitors, the city's transport network, telecommunications systems and tourism facilities have all been upgraded, along with improvements to the quality of its air and water, Yin said.
Michelle Caporicci, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou, said the hotel anticipated a steady stream of bookings, including tourists, delegations from participating countries and members of the Asian Games committee.
"The Games will change people's perception of Guangzhou as primarily a business destination, so we are expecting many more domestic tourists in Guangzhou," she said.
"Local corporations are taking this opportunity to invite guests to Guangzhou to showcase the city's potential.
The Games will also attract local tourists from the Pearl River Delta and neighboring cities, because of their proximity," she said.
CITS Guangdong Co, a major travel agent, also anticipates increased bookings for inbound flights and trips to other provinces, said managing director Gu Xuncai.
The company has improved its facilities and services for the Games, including tour guides who are proficient in foreign languages, Gu said.
The province's tourism industry is expected to continue to benefit after the Games, especially due to all the improvements that have been made in the host city, he added.
Banks in Guangdong province plan to increase the number of their outlets, provide multilingual services and cater to the disabled during the Games, said Liu Fushou, director of the Guangdong Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
Guangzhou had 118 million tourists last year, which generated 99.404 billion yuan in tourism revenue, including $3.624 billion in foreign currency, according to the tourism administration of Guangzhou.
In tandem with generating revenue, consumption in Guangzhou is expected to rise by 1.9 billion yuan during the Games, Yin said.
Investment for the Asian Games will add 815.24 billion yuan to the local gross domestic product, Yin said, with direct investment for the Games creating 304,000 jobs.
(Source: China Daily)

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