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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

Olympics Coming, and Rooms Are Available

June 24, 2008 China’s Visa Policy Threatens Olympics Tourism By DAVID BARBOZABEIJING The plush lobby of Beijing’s Kerry Center Hotel is usually crowded with foreign guests, many of them listening to jazz and sipping martinis in Centro, the hotel’s fashionable bar, or lining up for taxis after dinner at the Horizon restaurant. But Thursday evening, Centro had only a sprinkling of guests in a hotel whose occupancy rate is typically close to 100 percent this time of year. That night, the duty manager, said it was 63 percent.”Something strange has been going on,” said Sun Yin, the duty manager. “I really don’t know what happened.”

The New York Times does it again.

Just a few days after publishing one of the more interesting accounts about the intersection of China’s energy policy and its stock market comes this entirely unexpected snapshot of the Chinese economy just prior to the biggest event in the country’s recent history: the Olympic Games.

“Business is so bleak,” said Di Jian, the sales manager at the CapitalHotel in Beijing. “Since May, very few foreigners have checked in. Ouroccupancy rate has dropped by 40 percent.” Many other cities in China are also feeling the pain of fewer tourists,including Shanghai, where some hotels say occupancy rates are down 15 to20 percent.

I ran the article by a friend who travels to China every few months—his company’s business depends on China’s manufacturing base—and his response was almost as interesting as the article.

“I think the article is very accurate.”

Read it for yourself. Rooms are available.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2008 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice. It should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Nor are these comments meant to be a solicitation of business in any way: such inquiries will not be responded to. This content is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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