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Guangzhou hotels slash rates for fair

HOTELIERS in south China's Guangdong Province are slashing prices to attract overseas visitors to the 105th Canton Fair scheduled to open next week.

The Guangzhou Hotels Association, a regulatory organization that oversees more than 2,000 hoteliers in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, has published its detailed advisory prices, which were said to be 20 percent lower than those of previous years.

The list covers rooms at hotels rated two stars or above for next week's fair and the 106th Canton Fair in October.

A document posted on the Website of the association lists advisory prices for a standard room, a luxury room and a business suite at a five-star hotel at 1,790 yuan (US$263), 1,980 yuan and 2,310 yuan, respectively.

The association president, Lin Weimin, said yesterday that reservations were down in comparison with past spring fairs. He said the advisory prices were set after the provincial government said it would support development of the Canton Fair, and supply and demand of hotel rooms were studied.

"The fall in reservations shows the impact of the global financial crisis on the real economy is continuing to grow," said Lin. "We are taking the initiative to adjust our strategy to operate hotels and to attract more guests, hoping to limit the impact."

Hoteliers also had to work hard to improve the quality of services in order to survive, said Lin.

Many Guangzhou hotels are offering rooms at prices lower than the advisory prices.

A staff member at the five-star Dongfang Hotel said it was charging on average 400 to 500 yuan less per room than a year ago.

More business people prefer to stay in private apartments near the fair for 5,000 yuan a month.

The China Import and Export Fair, commonly known as Canton Fair, is regarded as a weather vane of China's foreign trade. The fair would run from April 15 to May 7.


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