Major Olympic venues, including the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, will open to the public during the National Day holiday, officials said yesterday.
"Visiting the Bird's Nest will cost 50 yuan ($7.30) and there will be 80,000 tickets available for each day of next week," Wang Chun, secretary-general of the Olympic Green management committee, said at a press conference.
There will be 12,000 tickets per day for the Water Cube, each costing 30 yuan, he said.
Up to 20,000 people will be able to visit the National Indoor Stadium each day, and 8,000 will be able to access the international zone at the Olympic Village, he said.
Tickets for both will cost 20 yuan.
Visitors with tickets will be able to tour the central zone of the Olympic Green, but will not be allowed into the Olympic Forest Park, he said.
Xu Jianfeng, chief operating officer with Ticketmaster China, the only agency authorized to sell Olympic venue tickets, said they went on sale in Beijing yesterday.
People can get more information by calling 010 65388359, he said.
The Olympic Forest Park will also open to the public during the holiday, but tickets will be distributed free to local communities, and will not go on sale, Wang said.
Zhang Huiguang, head of the Beijing tourism administration, said the opening of Olympic venues to the public will be a boost for the capital's tourism business over the holiday period.
"The National Day holiday usually attracts about 5 million domestic tourists to Beijing, but the number is expected to rise to 7 million next week," she said.
The municipal tourism administration has distributed free tickets to selected hotels, travel agencies and tourism bureaus in neighboring provinces, as about 70 percent of the people who want to visit the Olympic venues come from outside Beijing, she said.
These free tickets will allow a maximum of 125,000 tourists to visit the central zone of the Olympic Green (but not the sports venues) each day next week, she said.
The central zone of the Olympic Green will receive up to 250,000 people a day, she said.
(China Daily September 23, 2008)