This year's Olympics will continue to benefit the country's tourism industry for about a decade after the Games finish, Chen Jian, president of the Beijing Olympic Economy Research Association, said.
Speaking at a recent investment seminar in Qingdao, he said 600,000 foreigners and 2.5 million domestic visitors are expected to flood into the capital for the Games, which begin in August.
Some 4.5 million foreign tourists are expected to come to Beijing this year, spending a combined $4.8 billion to $4.9 billion, he said.
That number is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8-9 percent, meaning 5 million to 5.3 million foreign tourists may visit the capital in 2010, spending between $5.3 billion and $5.6 billion.
On the domestic front, 101 million to 102 million Chinese from outside Beijing are expected to visit the capital this year, spending a combined 143 billion to 149 billion yuan ($19.7 billion to 20.5 billion).
By 2010, the influx of domestic tourists is expected to grow to between 111 million and 112 million, with a total spend of 173 billion to 178 billion yuan.
Experts have predicted that this year's Olympic Games will mark the beginning of a new chapter for China's tourism industry. The event is expected to have a huge impact on the finance, culture, exhibition, sports and real estate industries.
Chen said Beijing's financial sector should take the opportunity to innovate and take part in the development of capital markets.
The sports industry is also expected to be a long-term beneficiary of the Games, given the massive investment in infrastructure that will take place.
(China Daily January 8, 2008)