Less than one week away from the opening ceremonies of the world's largest sporting event, the Beijing tourism bureau predicts that the city will attract nearly half a million visitors this month. This is a a huge number, no doubt, packing a gigantic economic wallop. In fact, tourist numbers in Beijing haven't been this large since, well,... last August.
According to USA Today, "(security) restrictions on those attending the Games — or at least concerns about them — appear to have virtually eliminated any boost in tourism here from the Olympics. Beijing's tourism bureau predicts up to 450,000 visitors in the city this month — about the same as last August."
Combine this with the fact that China is temporarily shutting down hundreds of factories and curtailing automobile use during the Games, and it is hard to see how China will not end up losing a huge amount of money on its $40 billion investment.
(Thanks to Ron Gecan for forwarding the USA Today article.)