The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be a spur to Asia's tourism industry as people looking to attend the event also plan to spend time exploring other parts of China and Asia, a recent industry survey has said.
Almost 90 percent of those polled said that as well as visiting Beijing they hoped to see other Chinese cities if time allowed, while 75 percent said they wanted to visit other parts of the region, with Hong Kong the most likely stop, followed by Singapore and Japan.
The annual survey, jointly conducted by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Visa International Asia Pacific, identified travelers from India, the Republic of Korea and the United States as "the top three markets most likely to make the journey to the Games".
PATA president and CEO Peter de Jong said the 2008 Games will not only be good for Beijing but also generate inbound travel within China and benefit neighboring destinations. "All markets in the region stand to benefit from the Games," he said.
The survey of the travel intentions of more than 5,000 people from 10 markets over the next two years identified China as one of the "five most popular destinations for those planning to visit Asia".
One in five said that the Beijing Olympic Games would be the primary reason for their visit. Respondents who said they were likely to visit China listed the fact that it was "a good place to shop" as a key feature.
Tourism experts have estimated that Beijing will receive 4.5 million tourists in 2008. The number of overseas visitors to the has grown by an average of 7 percent annually since 2001, when it won the right to host the 2008 Olympics, official figures said.
Industry analysts have estimated that inbound spending by visitors to the Games will reach $4.5 billion.
(China Daily 05/04/2007 page3)