[photopress:hotels_beijing_homestay.jpg,full,alignright]Beijing tourism authorities will launch a recruitment drive for homestay accommodations for Olympic visitors.
Xiong Yumei, Beijing Tourism Bureau’s deputy director, said citizens in eight urban districts could apply to nearby community offices if they think their housing conditions meet the standard for homestay accommodation.
The standard, released in late March, requires ‘Olympic Family Hotels’ to have special bedrooms for foreign guests, washing, bathing and cooking equipment. At least one person in the family should be able to communicate with the guests in a foreign language.
About 1,000 such homestays will be selected. Applications will end April 30.
The charge for each room is initially set to be between RMB400 and RMB600 ($57 to $85), far lower than most hotels.
The suggestion is that there are, in fact, enough hotel rooms for visitors. The home accommodation is intended to let foreign visitors experience the life of Beijingers and have friendly exchanges with them.
The China Travel Service Head Office and the China International Travel Service Head Office (CITS) will organize homestay accommodation guests.
In Yayuncun in Chaoyang District, a pilot place for the program, 41 homes have been selected from 60 as homestay accommodation candidates.
Han Rubing, a college English teacher who lives in Yayuncun, said she would do some fitments in her two-bedroom home if it is selected to be an ‘Olympic Family Hotel’.
She said, ‘If we are lucky enough to play host to foreign guests, we will do our best to make them feel satisfactory.’