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Olympics Bring Benefits to Tourist Sites
    2008-08-23 20:00:36     CRIENGLISH.com

With millions of tourists pouring into Beijing during the Olympic Games, many tourist sites are benefiting from the grand sports event. Our reporter Yingying examines which ones have seen the greatest influx of visitors.

A glimpse at Nanluoguxiang, the South Percussion Alley in downtown Beijing [photo source: essay.cando360.com]

The Olympics is always a great opportunity to combine first-class sporting action with a taste of international culture, and in Beijing, many popular tourist sites are making the most of it. The South Percussion Alley, or Nanluoguxiang in Chinese, is one of these hotspots with traditional Beijing hutongs keeping modern buildings away.

The area has a long been a popular site for international visitors, with some choosing to stay and set up shop.

Michel Sutyadi comes from Germany. He sells T-shirts designed by himself in the alley and has witnessed a boost in sales during the Games.

"We see that our T-shirt sales are going up and more tourists coming into our shop and they'd like to buy our T-shirts because they think they are nice souvenir to take home and to give it to friends. So I think definitely we benefit from the Olympics as well."

In addition to souvenir stores, restaurants are also benefiting greatly from the Olympics. Hong Kong resident Kingtai Chow and his Korean wife own a Korean restaurant in the South Percussion Alley. As the only Korean-style restaurant in the street, they have become very popular.

"Two months before the Olympics started, we would have very good business at the weekends. But there is a significant difference between week days and weekends in terms of revenue and numbers of customers we receive every day. But at least a fortnight by to the beginning of the Games every day is like weekend. Every day there is significant increase of number of people coming to our restaurants."

Although having grown up in Hong Kong, Kingtai Chow chooses Beijing to develop his career and is quite optimistic about life after the Games.

"Many people through the Games, have got to know Beijing and most people that I've talked to have got a very positive image of China and they would love to come back in the future. They would go back to where they are from and tell all the friends about it, all the families about it. And I think in the long term it's a very positive thing not just for our restaurants but for the whole country."

For local people, the Olympics not only creates more business opportunities, but also brings practical benefits to their daily lives. Michel Sutyadi, the T-shirt designer, has lived in Beijing for 5 years and witnessed the many changes personally. He has confidence in Beijing.

"We benefit from the new infrastructure, from new subway lines like all the new venues and buildings being built. And I think that's a good thing for people who live in Beijing so definitely I think it'll be a nicer place to live after the Olympics. Also that they try to get the smog and environmental issues, try to change that and get on an international level. So I think there will be some positive changes even after the Olympics."

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