Beijing Palace Hotel to be closed as hotel owners scramble to sell hotel
Beijing — China’s palace hotel will be closed after owners of the hotel said they were unable to find enough room to house guests, state media reported Wednesday.
The Palace Hotel in Beijing is one of several hotels in China that have been threatened with closing by Beijing’s government.
Beijing has sought to limit the number of tourists at its attractions to help balance the country’s economy amid a slowdown in tourist arrivals.
Beijing says it is trying to reduce tourism to 1.6 million in 2020.
Beijing’s government is also restricting domestic travel.
In November, Beijing banned domestic air travel and foreign-bound air travel for several months after it said domestic flights could not return to normal flights after the Beijing Olympics.
The government said the move was necessary to protect the health and safety of passengers and staff.
Tourists at the Beijing Palace have taken to the streets to protest the decision.
“We will not allow a city to die in the name of tourism,” a protester surnamed Liu said.
Chinese officials have said the Palace Hotel will remain open after Beijing’s decision.
Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency said Wednesday the Palace was open but the hotel was not.
Beijing Tourism and Culture Bureau spokesman Zhu Zhihong said it was the Palace’s responsibility to make sure it could keep running.
The Palace, which opened in 2007, is China’s oldest continuously operating hotel and its second-oldest hotel after the Great Wall of China.