BEIJING - Tourism authorities here are looking for welcoming households to provide rooms for foreign visitors during the summer Olympics.
Xiong Yumei, deputy director of the Beijing Tourist Bureau, said that the bureau would recruit about 1,000 households as "Olympic Family Hotels" to increase the city's guest room supply for the event. More than 500,000 overseas visitors are expected during the summer Games, with the largest daily inflow estimated at 300,000.
Xiong said that Beijing has 806 star-ranked hotels that have 130,000 rooms with 220,000 beds. Other lodging houses and inns have another 646,000 beds.
"The guest room supply may still fall short of demand, especially for hotels close to the sports venues," said Xiong.
She said that the bureau would choose among households' applications in March. "Families should own the apartments that they plan to offer and be able to provide foreign guests with spare rooms, good ventilation and sanitary conditions," said Xiong. She added that at least one person in each household should be able to communicate in English.
Homestays are popular in Western countries but relatively new to China. Other requirements set by the Beijing Tourist Bureau include changing of bedding, appropriate dressing by household members and a willingness to help guests find their way around the city and the Games.
The charge for homestays will be US$50 to 80 per day, less than most hotels. Xiong said that the price might be adjusted to reflect market fluctuations.
The cost of a five-star hotel room during the Games is forecast to be about 2,960 yuan (US$411) per night. For four-star hotels, it is forecast at 2,320 yuan; for three-star rooms, 1,600 yuan and for two-star accommodations, 1,200 yuan.