Tour operators across the world have already sold out tickets for some of the more popular events.
Whatever is left will be sold live, first come first served, starting this October. Tickets range from $5 for events like baseball to $773.
The resale market is already operational. One reason for the exceptionally high demand is the comparative affordability of tickets. Travel experts say that the tickets were priced low to make sure that most events – if not all – would sell out.
Beijing has learnt from Torino, where Olympians were playing to far less than packed houses. It is projecting 1.5 million visitors to the games. These include 550,000 foreign visitors from August 8-24, up from 350,000 visitors in August 2006. Those Olympic visitors are expected to spend about $5.8 billion, according to China's tourist board.
There is room for everyone. The 241-room Mandarin Oriental with restaurants and a bar suspended above a 21-story atrium and a circular ballroom ringed by water is already being talked about.
The Beijing 7 Star is in the enviable position of being located opposite the main stadium. Luxury chains (Grand Hyatt, St Regis, the new Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental, Regent), boutique hotels (Hotel Kapok, Kengo Kuma’s 99 room property, Andaz by Hyatt) are transforming the scene. Both Ritz-Carlton and InterContinental are unveiling second properties in Beijing later this year. A new Four Seasons, a 588-room JW Marriott, a Park Hyatt and a Mandarin Oriental are on their way.The city is expected to add more than 4,000 upper-tier hotel rooms this year, with 7,000 or so more in 2008.
By Prachi Parihar
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