- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 27 Hour
- Reading permission
Olympics -- pot of gold for Beijing but not for the rest of China.
Karenb suggests a few ways to enhance the image of China. |
They are good suggestions but for the most part are hugely expensive to implement.
China is making huge efforts to roll back the desert by planting billions of trees. I have traveled to beyond Urumqi, up to Manzhouli, and right down south -- and no matter where one looks, there are trees being planted. The problem is so huge that it may not be possible, even with the best will in the world, to reverse the damage caused over the past hundreds of years.
Dirty factories -- yes, China is tackling that as well. It has closed thousands of factories and put several million workers out into the streets. There are plans to close another 3000 and put another 5 million out of work. The problems are potentially catastrophic, but in some cases the solutions are even worse, not only in the short term, but, in terms of social, economic and political instability, possibly worse than the problem in the long term as well.
Unless China fares much better than Sydney, the Olympics will largely be a non-even for the rest of the country as far as tourism.
Yes, people will come to the Olympics, stay for a week or two being fleeced by overpriced accommodation, food and services (as happens at every Olympics) and then they will go home flat broke. Very few will travel past Beijing.
Even those with the will and money to travel further will come up against archaic practices designed to make the worst of their experience.
Train tickets that can only be one way and only purchased a few days before travel.
Lack of facilities for using credit cards.
The infuriating situation at many tourist sites where the entrance is clearly marked with big banners and signs to attract customers who then find that the ticket office is 200 metres away and has no English explanation of what the fees are for.
Disgusting public toilets.
Rip-off tactics -- pay to enter a park and then find other tickets are required to access certain parts.
Charges to enter many public parks.
Extortionate charges to many attractions -- especially for Chinese salary earners.
Non-uniform application of laws and regulations across China.
Lack of segregation of pedestrians and vehicles.
Disorderly behaviour in scrambling for public transport.
2008 is not too far away and I know many of these problems are being addressed but perhaps now is a good time to get a move on.