The 2008 Beijing Olympics not only attracted an increasing number of travelers to the capital, but also boosted the integration of sport and tourism.
Beijing recorded a total of 6.52 million traveler visits during the Games, which took place between August 8 and August 24, 2008, including 382,000 inbound visitors from outside mainland China, according to the reports. data collected by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics from major hotels and tourist sites. tasks.
Tourist spots grossed 162.7 million yuan ($ 25.6 million) during the Games.
In 2009, the General Sports Administration and the then National Tourism Administration (a predecessor of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism) issued a proposal to stimulate the development of the integration of sport and tourism .
Beijing Olympic Park and Jinhai Lake were recently named among 47 national sports tourism demonstration sites across the country by the General Sports Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The Olympic park has received more than 500 million traveler visits since 2008, said Yang Ping, an official with the park administration committee.
The park was named a Red Tourism and Patriotism Education Site by the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau in 2018.
Travelers can enjoy Olympic venues, including the National Stadium (bird’s nest) and the National Swimming Center (water cube) up close, while learning about the country’s long history and traditional culture displayed in the sunken gardens, where dazzling sculptures and carefully crafted flower arrangements can be enjoyed.
Themed flower shows were held at different times of the year in the park, Yang said.
Usually, a spring flower festival is held from late March to early May, and a mass sunflower arrangement is in place in June and July.
In the fall, visitors can feast on flowering coreopsis plants and polychrome flowers.
Wang Jiaming is a regular at the park.
“I often drive 20 minutes from home at night to jog in the park,” said the Pekingese.
The park has professional running tracks that wind through its landscapes of forests, wetlands, hills and lakes.
“The variations in landscapes add fun to the race,” adds Wang.
Originally from Hunan province, Wang says he took many of his relatives to the park when they visited the capital, either at their request or on his own recommendation.
“I think it’s a unique part of Beijing and it’s a nice place to entertain friends or just relax on your own,” he says.
The authority has continued to invest efforts in modernizing the park since the Olympic Games, adding international communications, cultural exchanges, sports and recreation to the functions of the park.
“It has become a prime location for international games, performances and exchanges,” said Yang Ping.
Since 2012, more than 8,000 major national and international events have been held in the park, including fireworks for the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders Meetings, the 2015 IAAF World Championships and the China International Fair. for trade in services.
After the 2008 Games, the National Stadium has been a hot spot for various large-scale competitions, performances and tourism experiences, while the National Swimming Center has provided aquatic entertainment to millions of visitors, Yang said.
Influenced by the wave of sports and tourism integration, Jinhai Lake has harnessed its potential for water sports over the years. Lake in Pinggu District, northeast of Beijing, has become a popular destination for lake cruises, water slides, and jet ski experiences. Kite festivals and dragon boat races were also successful in drawing crowds.
The authorities have also encouraged the development of sporting events in the capital, which has infused the city with athleticism and enriched public life.
Several events in Beijing have been named models of sports tourism by the sports authority, such as the Beijing Marathon, the Beijing International Mountain Walking Festival and the China Open.
Before the pandemic, the China Open at the China National Tennis Center in Chaoyang District was on Beijing resident Long Kang’s calendar as a must-see event every year since 2014.
“I would normally go to these games with my friends, some of whom were from out of town,” he says.
The international tennis event coincides with the country’s National Day, one of the top two travel moments.
“It was a great way to spend the holidays. I got to see my favorite players, while being able to hang out with friends,” said Long.
He also regularly plays at the China National Tennis Center.
“The price is reasonable compared to other tennis courts that I visit in the city.”
As the Winter Olympics approach, the Summer Olympics facilities will once again play a hosting role for some of the events.
Many technical issues were overcome and renovations were carried out to “convert water to ice” at the Water Cube for curling, according to Yang.
Meanwhile, the national stadium will host the ice hockey competitions, Yang said.