ACCORDING to recent reports there’s not been the deluge of bookings that China had expected for the Beijing Olympics.
China had hoped for 500,000 visitors and now hotels in Beijing are slashing their room rates as the expected rush has failed to materialise.
Overseas visitors have complained about the delay in processing visas and many have expressed reservations about the security situation post-Tibet and the possibility of terrorist attacks.
The Chinese Government itself claims the threat of a terrorist attack is present.
But what is the real security situation?
Security concerns should not deter spectators. While there may be other reasons for not attending, such as publicity regarding the city’s smog, the Olympic Games are not normally targeted by politically motivated terrorists with the intention of killing spectators. The reason being that killing an international audience is counterproductive to achieving political objectives.
More at risk from terrorism are some of the national representatives, like the athletes and officials from Israel and the US, because of their nations’ foreign policies. These days US and Israeli athletes travel with their own security and socialise less with the other athletes.