Beijing is opening the door to more national and international economy hotels to improve its services sector during the 2008 Olympic Games, a senior official said yesterday.
"Rated hotels have a whole set of standards for their facilities and services, and their cooperation with the non-rated and budget accommodations can elevate the city's services sector to a new level," Beijing tourism administration's Deputy Director Xiong Yumei told China Daily.
By the end of last year, the capital had 3,981 non-rated and 700 star hotels that cumulatively had 287,000 rooms with 517,000 beds, according to official figures.
Though they can "meet the needs during the Olympics" and the same level of comfort and services can't be expected in all accommodations, many of the non-rated hotels, where most of the visitors will stay, have yet to attain an acceptable standard, she said.
To maintain the "acceptable standard", the municipal tourism administration last year drafted a set of criteria for lodgings, and asked non-rated hotels to improve their facilities and services.
By the end last year, 253 non-rated hotels had "qualified the test", and were put on the recommended list for national and international travelers. The administration now hopes to have 600 more non-rated hotels qualify.
But, Xiong said, the cooperation between economy and non-rated hotels, too, could help improve the services.
"In big cities such as Beijing, many small hotels don't seem interested in getting a one- or two-star ranking. That leaves the economy hotels with a lot of room for development and cooperation," she said.
As for room tariff during the Games, the government will not set an upper limit for non-rated hotels, she said.
The administration is urging all hotels to better train their employees in etiquette. Knowledge about the Olympics and English language skills are equally important. The administration published three books last year and distributed their copies among the hotels to help them train their staff.
The nearly 4,000 non-rated hotels are included in the project, and the administration wants their managers to undergo training first so that they, in turn, can train the other employees.