15 August 2008

China's massive Olympic spend will pay off in the long run

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Moody's economist Sherman Chan has predicted China's massive investment in the 2008 Olympic Games will create long-term benefits in the local tourism industry, reports China View, with Hong Kong and other major cities besides Beijing welcoming the raised global profile.

According to Chan, the Chinese Government did not incur the entire costs for the Olympic Games, but instead allowed the private sector to have a major stake.  She also said the spending on the Games, directly and indirectly, has amounted to approximately USD$42 billion.  According to Games authorities, $40.88 billion was spent on upgrading facilities and infrastructure.

Organisers of the 2008 Games have said the tourism boost to the country is inevitable and the necessary upgrading of tourism facilities and infrastructure country-wide has ensured China remains globally competitive in the industry. 

"Better airport facilities, subway networks, roads and recreational venues will all help to support continued rapid development," said Ms Chan.

Commenting on a survey conducted by Visa International about tourist choices in China, Richard Chang, Visa International’s Executive Vice President and General Manager for Greater China and the Philippines said, “With China hosting the Olympic Games, Chinese culture and history are definitely more in the spotlight than ever before. It is wonderful to see that the Great Wall remains a firm favourite, especially the Badaling section, which draws around 10 million visitors a year.” 

He added, results such as these add weight to the prediction that by 2015 China would be the world’s second largest travel and tourism economy after the United States.

All visitors to China are required to gain a Chinese visa to gain entry.  The Chinese visa, or Ordinary Visa, is separated under three general categories, including tourist visas, business visas, and permanent visas.  There are eight sub-categories of visas within these three categories, which are distinguished by the letters L, G, F, X, Z, C, J, and D.

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Chinese visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.

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