China Olympic tourist boom fizzles

Officials say number of visitor arrivals fell in 2008 despite hosting of Olympics.

    China had hoped the Olympics would
    dramatically boost tourist arrivals [EPA]

    There was no mention of other factors that may have kept tourists away, such as the massive earthquake in Sichuan province in May and the rioting and subsequent government lock down of Tibet in March.

    Shao said "the inbound tourism sector is facing a considerable challenge this year", but his department was still forecasting a 1.5 per cent rebound in visitors, with revenues projected to increase one per cent to $41.5bn.

    The government is counting on domestic travel to give the tourism industry a boost this year, and is drafting new guidelines to encourage workers to tag their annual leave on to public holidays.

    China became the world's fourth-largest tourist destination in 2006 after France, Spain and the United States, and Shao has said that China aims to grab the top spot by 2015.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.