[photopress:BeijingOlympicsCountdown.jpg,full,alignright]The Beijing Tourism Administration estimates that the average daily tourist volume in Beijing will reach 500,000 during the 17 days of the Olympics, and demand for accommodation will peak at this time.
Currently there are over 130 budget hotels in Beijing, providing a total of 13,000 rooms with an average room rate of RMB240 ($32).
Before the end of this year budget hotel brands such as Home Inn, Jinjiang Inn, Super 8, Motel 168 and 7 Days Inn will all open around 20 hotels each in Beijing. This means that by the end of 2007, the total number of budget hotels in Beijing is expected to exceed 200.
And before theOlympic Games, nine new five-star hotels in Beijing will open, including the Hilton, Ritz-Carlton-Marriott, Sofitel, InterContinental, Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Shangri-La and Westin.
Cao Nianguo, from the real estate advisor DTZ, estimated that during the Olympic preparation period, the number of hotels in Beijing will increase from 700 at the end of 2006, to over 800. It is estimated that the number of three-star to five-star hotel rooms will increase from 85,000 to 100,000 by mid 2008.
Bookings are already heavy. Customers who have a reservation are, in many cases, required to pay the full amount three months or even six months prior to the commencement of the Olympics.
According to news released by the Beijing Olympic organizer — BOCOG — all of the best hotels within the fourth ring road are nearly fully booked. Over 30,000 rooms in the 122 three-star, four-star and five-star hotels that have signed contracts with BOCOG have been reserved by BOCOG officials, international VIPs, sponsors and media organizations, accounting for over 70% of their total capacity.
All of this building and hotel opening suggests there are more than enough hotels in Beijing. This is far from the case if you consider the broad range of hotel from luxury to budget. One forecast is that by next year the city will be under-supplied by about 300 hotels mainly because the main focus at present is upgrading existing hotels rather than constructing new ones.
The hotel industry will try to cash in big time on the Olympics.
Of the hotels that the BOCOG has signed contracts with in Beijing, 38 five-star hotels charge a room rate of $353; 40 four-star hotels charge $272; and 34 three-star hotels charge $176 per night. These rates are three to four times above the current corresponding rates in Beijing.
Officials from the Beijing Municipal Government and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform announced they will not restrict hotel room rates during the Olympics.
Three-star hotel rates are expected to be around $350 and luxury five-star hotel rates are set to range from $500-$800.For a normal bed in economy hotels, the rate will be increased to RMB600-800 ($80-$105), from the current RB80-100 ($11-$13).
After the Olympics there will be 6,500 five-star hotel rooms within 4 km of the CBD.
Prices, following the Games, will come down with a run but Olympic visitors will return to their home countries saying Beijing is an expensive place to visit. That is what happened with Athens and the hotel business has yet to recover.
Source: Beijing Times