[photopress:forestandland.jpg,full,alignright]Beijing tourism administration’s Deputy Director Xiong Yumei told China Daily that Beijing is opening the door to more national and international economy hotels to improve its services sector during the 2008 Olympic Games.
She said, ‘Rated hotels have a whole set of standards for their facilities and services, and their cooperation with the non-rated and budget accommodations can elevate the city’s services sector to a new level.’ By the end of last year, the capital had 3,981 non-rated and 700 star hotels that cumulatively had 287,000 rooms with 517,000 beds.
Though it is claimed they can ‘meet the needs during the Olympics’ a realistic view is that they cannot expect the same level of comfort and services can’t be expected in all accommodation. Xiong Yumei said many of the non-rated hotels, where most of the visitors will stay, have yet to attain an acceptable standard.
An example of a hotel at an acceptable standard is shown in our illustration. Beijing Forest & Land Hotel is spotlessly clean and bright and has an AA5 Diamond status and is included in the AA Top 500 Places To Stay. This is better that an ‘acceptable standard’ but is the style for which to aim.
To maintain the ‘acceptable standard’, the municipal tourism administration last year drafted a set of criteria for lodgings, and asked non-rated hotels to improve their facilities and services.
Xiong Yumei said, ‘In big cities such as Beijing, many small hotels don’t seem interested in getting a one- or two-star ranking. That leaves the economy hotels with a lot of room for development and cooperation.’
As for room tariff during the Games, the government will not set an upper limit for non-rated hotels. Which may mean that the same idiocy will prevail as happened in Greece where the staggering prices forced many visitors into a sort of camp city. A cap on prices is almost a prerequisite for visitors to totally enjoy the Olympic experience. It is not being applied.
The administration is urging all hotels to better train their employees in etiquette. Knowledge about the Olympics and English language skills are equally important. The administration published three books last year and distributed their copies among the hotels to help them train their staff.
The nearly 4,000 non-rated hotels are included in the project, and the administration wants their managers to undergo training first so that they, in turn, can train the other employees. But still the potential for massive price hikes remains. This may prove to be bigger problem than the administration currently believes.
Source: People’s Daily Online
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