China''s 2008 Olympic Games sites still attracting millions of visitors

Beijing, Aug. 10 : Even a year after the 2008 Olympic Games, the world-famous sites are still a major attraction for visitors to Beijing.

New business proposals and expansion plans promise to bring even more revenues to the massive venues.

Operators of the Bird''s Nest, or the National Stadium, have submitted a proposal to the Beijing Municipal Government to build restaurants, fitness centers and a shopping complex in 50,000 square meters of available commercial space.

Beginning in October, the National Aquatics Center complex, better known as the Water Cube, will undergo an expansion from its current size of 49,000 square meters to 77,000 square meters.

The Beijing State-owned Assets Management Co Ltd (BSAM), the proprietor of the Bird''s Nest and Water Cube, in June released a post-Olympics report card on the two Olympics landmarks.

Since being opened to the public last October, the Bird''s Nest has attracted more than 3.5 million visitors and generated revenues totaling more than 260 million Yuan. The Water Cube attracted more than 2.26 million visitors and generated 104 million Yuan in revenues. The revenues were generated by three main sources: tourist tickets, performance and competition fees, and sales of licensed products, reports the China Daily.

Ticket sales accounted for about 70 percent of the revenues, the BSAM reported.

The Bird''s Nest has an annual maintenance cost of 60 million Yuan, which includes sanitation, security, fire control and other services.

A first phase of the Spectacular Shows in Water Cube by Beijing Artists Management Corp Ltd that began in June and continues through August 23 has attracted new crowds to the Olympics grounds.

The renovation of the Water Cube is scheduled for completion in mid-2010.

The Bird''s Nest and Water Cube are two of the 37 Olympics venues open for business year after the Games.

The National Conference Center also is undergoing a facelift that, when completed in November, will mainly serve large meetings, exhibitions and other business events.

In October, the 2009 China Open will be held at the National Tennis Center, a former Olympics venue now being readied for future sports, training and cultural events.

Seven former Olympics venues in western Beijing, mainly in the Shijingshan District, will be open to the public this October.

Those venues will include sports and theater facilities. (ANI)