Some Shanghai travel agencies have started setting up tours for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and the earliest travel group is expected to head to the capital at the end of this year.
Spring International Travel Service said it is now setting up an itinerary for the Olympic tours and tour groups to Beijing before the Game's curtain rises, which includes stops to the stadiums and other facilities newly built for the Games.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games officially kicks off from August 8 to 24 next year.
The traditional scenic spots of the capital will also be included, such as the Palace Museum and the ancient relics of Yuanmingyuan, said Yu Xinying, an official with the agency.
"We're also thinking of opening up more options for the tours around and during the Games, and we'll even book the tickets for the tourists or groups," said Yu.
However, Yu said the agency is still taking a wait and see type of attitude over the Olympic market, since the prices in Beijing hotels will allegedly be eight times higher during the Games.
"This is what our Beijing counterparts told us," said Yu. "But the hotel quotes for the Olympic period haven't been released yet."
Another problem is that the government may take over hotel resources during the Games, and distribute rooms to overseas officials and spectators, according to Shanghai Holiday Tour Agency.
"The Olympic tour is on our schedule, but so many factors are yet to be determined," said Hu Xin, the agent's public relations manager.
Enimen Su, a local foreign trade company employee, said the probable price rise of hotel stays is acceptable and understandable.
"If I had enough money and time, of course I would take the Olympic tour into consideration," he said. "After all, it's really a rare chance to watch the Olympic Games on my homeland."