--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Beijing's Recreation Sector Back to Life
During the peak of the SARS epidemic, Beijing imposed a straight ban on all recreation and sports facilities at the end of April. As the crisis subsides, it's brought an easing of the ban. Indoor sports facilities are allowed to reopen after health inspections. Culture facilities such as theaters and karaoke rooms will soon follow suit.

This is the first gym in Beijing to re-open after the easing of month-long ban. With the SARS epidemic dying out in the capital, the fitness club is regaining its popularity, with hundreds of people eager to work out. Sports lovers say they have waited for too long for life to return to normal.

"Doing sports is part of my life, and the closing down of the facility really upset me for a long while. And the other day when I passed by, wow, this place is open ..." said Liu Ge.

It's also good news for managers. Business had been suffering badly from the fallout of the epidemic.

"The SARS virus has affected the business quite considerably. But since the easing of the ban, business picked up rapidly, and everyday between 300 and 400 people visited our club," said Wang Cheng, general manager of Club Nirvana, Beijing.

And such enthusiasm fills the whole spectrum of sporting venues, from fitness clubs to tennis courts to bowling lanes.

With more and more people coming out to enjoy sports and other forms of recreation, a city that has been losing a lot of fun lately has finally come back to life. And the government and the business seem to be putting all necessary measures in place to make sure that there will not be a rebound of the SARS virus.

An examination from the health department is a must before a facility can open its doors. Strict sanitary measures are observed--customers' temperature is monitored and recorded. Disinfecting procedures are also required.

And people no longer seem to be troubled by the idea that SARS awaits them in public places. "I believe all my partners around me are happy and healthy. People who have problems with SARS shouldn't be here," said Liu Ge.

The revival of the recreation sector signals the end of the panic season. Experts say better information and education have played a role.

"How the panic started was the lack of information and the uncertainty that accompanies it. So how to manage the uncertainty is key to managing crisis. It is important that the information provided is as much as possible and as accurate as possible," said Fan Gang, an economist.

The lifting of the ban will soon extend to other recreation facilities such as theaters and karaoke rooms. These places are already rigged out to welcome their first wave of customers. It won't be long before city dwellers have a variety of choices to bounce around again. And this time, their choice will be an informed one.

(cctv.com June 11, 2003)

Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688