Chinese travel companies gear up for the Olympics

Earlier this month, Air China announced a promotion offering Olympics tickets to international passengers. In addition, China Travel Service -- one of the country's oldest and largest tour operators -- has unveiled pre-Olympic packages that include tours to see Chinese athletes in training.

Designed to give travelers a preview of the 2008 Summer Games, China Travel Service's special tours in April and May will include a visit to the Beijing Sports University, where many of China's gold medalists train. They will also include opportunities to photograph premiere Olympic venues: the Beijing National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest," and the National Swimming Center, nicknamed the "Water Cube." Also, each traveler will receive a set of commemorative Olympic lapel pins.

The tours also include Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an and explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.

Special discounts are available for tours booked by Oct. 1.

More details about Air China's promotion are available through it's global services hot-line, (011) 86-4008 100-999.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Jeri Clausing at [email protected].

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Watch for further coverage of this story in a future issue of Travel Weekly.

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