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August tourism market hits unexpected coldness
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As the public showed great passion to the upcoming Beijing Olympics, China's tourism agencies turned out to be thrown cold water.

Shanghai Morning Post reported on Monday that many travel agencies in the east economic hub have received far fewer tourists wanting to go sightseeing than expected, during what was supposed to be a busy and jubilant tourist season leading up to the Olympic Games.

Inside figures revealed that the number slumped to only 60% compared with 2007, because stricter safety inspections at airports, railway stations and bus depots for the Olympics have forced people to delay or cancel their travel plans.

In Beijing, many hotels have lowered their room prices. These reductions can mainly be found with the two-star, three-star and four-star hotels located far from the Olympic venues.

In addition, Olympics tourism is not as high as expected due to higher-than-average fees. Taking a tourist coach, for example, can cost as much as five thousand yuan, five times the pre-Olympic rates. Many tourists flinch at the high prices, said the report.

But travel business analysts have predicted that the temporarily reduced travel demands will return to normal after the Olympic Games.

(CRIENGLISH.com August 4, 2008)

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