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Region expects sports payoff

Updated: 2015-08-06 07:39
By Su Zhou (China Daily)

Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei will integrate tourism efforts to boost profits during 2022 Games

The tourism industry in Beijing, Tianjin and neighboring Hebei province is preparing to cash in on the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

On Friday, Beijing and Zhangjiakou in Hebei were named by the International Olympic Committee as host of the winter sports showpiece.

Song Yu, head of the Beijing Tourism Development Commission, said the differences between the capital and Zhangjiakou will provide a great opportunity to integrate the tourism industry in the capital and Hebei.

"Zhangjiakou is less well-known than Beijing despite both cities having abundant tourism resources," Song said.

"Following the successful bid by Beijing and Zhangjiakou to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, Zhangjiakou will gain a better reputation among overseas tourists, and Beijing will have more snow and ice-themed tourism products."

Song said Beijing will seize the chance to integrate tourism resources with neighboring areas to boost the inbound tourism industry.

"In the past, Beijing's huge population placed great pressure on the environment and resources.

"Now, with the integration of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the time and cost of visiting Tianjin and Hebei has been cut greatly. This makes the neighboring areas more attractive. Beijing will also provide more cross-regional products for tourists," Song said.

Li Jinlu, director of the tourism authority in Hebei, said that winning the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games bid is a new start for the province's tourism industry.

"Hebei will promote Zhangjiakou and the construction of winter sports facilities throughout the province."

Despite Tianjin having no direct involvement in the 2022 Winter Olympics, He Zhineng, deputy director of the municipality's tourism authority, said Tianjin is a good choice for training and preparation for winter sports.

"Snow-and ice-themed tourism will become a new growth point for tourism integration between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei," He said. "And Tianjin will develop jointly with Beijing and Hebei into a sports tourism zone."

He believes the Winter Olympics will not only increase the number of winter sports fans at home but also attract more overseas visitors.


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