Olympic visitors get info kiosks

Visa unveils 55 booths in Beijing to provide Olympic Games-related information and tourist assistance to guests attending the sporting event next month.

Worldwide partner of the Olympic Games Visa has unveiled information kiosks to provide timely information to visitors to next month's Beijing 2008.

The global payments player Friday launched 55 counters in the Chinese Olympics host city, at Beijing Capital International Airport, various Olympic venues and key tourist and shopping locations, according to a Visa statement.

Visa Olympic information kiosk

Source: Visa

Visitors will be able to obtain multilingual information related to Olympic events and venues, public transportation facilities in Beijing during the Games as well as tourist attractions, and even medical assistance. Visa cardholders can also receive on-site services in the event of loss of credit card.

Richard Chang, Visa's executive vice president and general manager of Greater China and the Philippines, said: "This may be the first visit to China for many of the visitors arriving for the Games, and we recognize that with so many events happening in the 17-day Games period, the public will need accurate information quickly and in a language they know and understand."

Chang told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail that the set-up will be staffed by volunteers from Visa and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), which the company worked with to design the kiosks. Each kiosk is equipped with laptops, phones and wireless connectivity.

Gartner: Post-Olympics PC slowdown unlikely
In a separate statement Thursday, research analyst Gartner said the Olympics is not likely to impact China's PC market much.

Gartner's report, Olympic Games to Boost China's PC Market Somewhat, pointed out that the country has a huge market given that PC penetration is still low in many areas.

"The Beijing Olympics will slightly influence PC shipments in the short-term instead of dramatically driving demand," said Simon Ye, principal research analyst at Gartner. "However, the Olympic Games provide a great opportunity for PC vendors to gain long-term returns by brand building.

"The long-term impact of the Olympics on the PC market will be in pushing IT infrastructure development in China," he added.

Ye noted that the Games will "have no influence on the PC market after the first quarter of 2009", and likely to contribute 1.5 percentage points to the overall 21.9 percent growth expected this year.

IDC on Monday separately said that traffic control revolving around Beijing 2008 will likely put pressure on PC supplies in the city next quarter, but a prompt recovery is expected.