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Beijing hotel room prices rise 400-1000% for Olympics
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Quoted prices for hotel stays in Beijing during the summer Olympics has jumped up by four to ten times higher than normal, said China's biggest online booking provider Ctrip.com International Ltd.

The travel booking company said on Friday that its online hotel reservation data show that standard hotel rooms in four and five star-ranking hotels during the August Olympics have been nearly booked out.

"Only some 20 hotels in Beijing still have rooms available for reservations by foreign tourists during the period. However, mostly probably, only luxury suites are left for them to choose," said Tang Xiaofeng, senior hotel business development manager of Ctrip.com.

The website provides updated hotel-room reservation information of 500 of Beijing's total 800 star-ranking tourist hotels. Nationwide, it has links with 2,800 hotels.

A receptionist at the Jinlun Hotel, a four-star hotel seated by the side of Beijing's east-west axis Chang'an Avenue said that all of the hotel rooms have been booked out during the Beijing Olympics with the daily price for a standard room quoted at 6,000 yuan (833 U.S. dollars), as compared to 1,008 yuan (140 U.S. dollars) at present.

Tang said that most hotels in Beijing require hotel bookers to pay full price in advance for staying during the event. Hotels would not refund the money if customers changed schedules or cancelled reservations.

He said as hotel rooms in Beijing are getting hotter, many hotels only receive customers who prepare to stay longer than five days in August.

Beijing is gearing up to accommodate about 500,000 foreigners during the Games, along with huge numbers of domestic tourists.

Besides tourist hotels and public lodging houses and inns, Beijing will also provide 1,000 officially designated "Olympic Family Hotels" to accommodate the visitors. The cost of each "Olympic Family Hotel" is 50 to 80 dollars per night.

The Shanghai-based Ctrip.com also found the hotel price in Beijing Olympics' co-host cities, such as Qingdao and Shenyang would rise by 30-40 percent during the event. The east China coast city of Qingdao, which is also a popular beachside resort city in summer, will see price rises of 50-100 percent higher than normal days during the Games.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2008)

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