Holiday tourists flock to Beijing, drawn in part by Olympic venues
Updated: 2008-10-01 17:00

Tourist arrivals in Beijing rose 14.4 percent year-on-year in the first two days of the National Day holiday, with 635,000 travelers, many of whom packed historic sites and Olympic venues, tourist officials said.

The Office of the Beijing Municipal Leading Group for Holiday Tourism Work, which monitored 21 key sites, said the central district of the Olympic Park, the Beijing Zoo, the section of the Great Wall at Badaling and the Forbidden City at the heart of the capital all had more visitors than capacity.

Statistics given by the organization for the period ended at 3 pm on Tuesday showed 156,000 visitors toured the central district of the Olympic Park, home to the Birds' Nest and Water Cube, since the area was opened to the public as of Monday.

More than 70 electric vehicles shuttled tourists around the park.

The sudden influx of visitors to the area helped the catering sector.

Wednesday's edition of the Morning Post said catering businesses in the central district of the Olympic Park chalked up 360,000 yuan ($51,429) in sales on Monday alone.

Officials said 110,000 people visited the Forbidden City, up 18.5 percent year-on-year, while 75,800 people visited the Beijing Zoo, up 25 percent, and 52,600 people toured the Badaling Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, up 6.9 percent.

The National Holiday, which marks the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China, started on Monday and will end on Sunday.

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