Because in 2008, there simply aren’t going to be enough beds, unless you want to sleep in a hostel or flophouse dormitory. Or a park bench.
Beijing is not planning to construct new hotels for the 2008 Olympics, even though a quarter million foreign visitors are expected for the world’s largest sports event.
Officials are not losing any sleep over where all the foreigners are going to stay, since there are nearly 490,000 beds throughout the city, the Xinhua news agency reported.
That impressive number is arrived at by counting absolutely everything the city’s hospitality sector has to offer, including one-star hotels and hostels of varying quality, according to the agency.
Even so, there may not be enough beds to go around, as domestic visitors plus the normal tourist inflow will boost demand in 2008 to 550,000, Xinhua said.
Somehow, I can’t imagine the type of tourists who can afford to travel to Beijing for the Olympics being delighted with staying in a 1-start Chinese hotel. (I’ve seen a 2-star hotel in China, and don’t even want to think about what a 1-star would be like. Shudder.)
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.