Beijing 2008 Olympics – some thoughts

There have been various discussions about the success of the Olympics in Beijing, before, meanwhile and after the event. I had no chance to travel to the Olympics but this way I could see the various documentations from different points of view.

It was really impressive how many “Chinese” visitors have been watching the sport events live. And some of them even bought their clothes in the same store.
Now serious this should tell us one thing, from the inbound touristic perspective the Olympics as an event, have not been so successful.
The long- and midterm influences are still difficult to guess, because of the ambiguous way the media talked about China as tourism destination.

I have read a very interesting Post with an interesting list of olympic changes….
Thinking of my time in Beijing I had to smile a couple of times:

Article from ChinaContact by Roy Graff.

What’s changed in the city because of the Olympics?
• There are many more shopping outlets and various restaurants. They are also more expensive.
• The transportation system has improved but still requires a lot more development.
• The modernity of the city threatens to turn it into another Shanghai or HKG and lose its authentic feel. This is especially noticeable around Houhai and the newly re-opened Qianmen.
• Fewer people re spitting or throwing littler in the streets.
• Taxi drivers have all been made to wear identical uniforms and neckties.
• The architecture is diverse and interesting. There is more use of colour everywhere.
• The city has been greened – trees and flowers everywhere. Not all of it will last past the Olympics since Beijing is a dry place and water is at a premium. Much of the greenery is potted flowers and plants hung up at weird unnatural angles and clearly will not survive for very long.
• There is a brand new park in the north, but it will not be accessible to ordinary folks until 2009.
• Chinese people are displaying great enthusiasm for the Games and sports in general.
• The air quality has improved eventually, and noticeably. It is pleasant to sit at an outdoor café which is a very new experience for me in Beijing. But how long will this last, once the Paralympics are over and industry tries to catch up with a backlog of orders to put the economy back on the same fast pace as 2007?

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