Two excited girls show up their post cards printed with the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube at an outdoor post office outside the Bird's Nest Stadium on Monday, September 29, 2008. [Xinhua]
Tourists both from abroad and across China flooded into the Olympic Green in Beijing to visit the competition venues on Monday, the first day of the week-long National Day holiday.
The Olympic Green, at the north end of the central axis of Beijing, houses a forest park and the Olympic Common Domain (OCD). The OCD, where the Bird's Nest, the Water Cube and the National Indoor Stadium are located, is open to the public from Monday to Sunday.
"Bird's Nest! I'm coming," said Li Junyang, a middle school student from the northeastern Heilongjiang Province. He stood before the stadium and asked his father to take a photo of him.
"I'll show the picture to my classmates. They must be jealous of me!"
Almost every spot in the OCD has become a tourist attraction. Like Li, most of the visitors took pictures to their hearts' content.
"I want to go visit all the places related to the Beijing Olympics." This is the most frequently-spoken sentence of the tourists.
"The Olympic Games will boost the host country's tourism industry," said Liu Xiaojun, head of the comprehensive department of the National Tourism Administration.
"The Olympic host cities will see a drastic rise in the number of tourists during the holiday."
In this year's "golden week" national holiday, the number of tourists is expected to hit 7 million, a year-on-year rise of 40 percent.
According to government statistics, railway tickets to Beijing from Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing, Shenyang and other big cities had been sold out even before the holiday and 90 percent of the airplane tickets were booked up.
"August is the best season for traveling but many people postponed their tours in order to watch the Games on TV at home," said Zhang Lingjie, the manager of domestic tour department of China International Travel Service.
"So people need to release their enthusiasm after the Games."
During the seven-day holiday, 100 million people are predicted to take buses. Beijing Bus Group plans to add more buses on the routes to the Olympic Green and Olympic venues.
In addition, a total of 5,000 volunteers are at the Olympic Green, Tian'anmen Square, Wangfujing shopping street in downtown Beijing and other hot spots to offer tourists help.