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The Olympics paid off in more ways than one for China. Sure, the country got awesome new hotels, venues and infrastructure built, but now, post-games, the country's also experiencing a boom in tourism. The New York Times reports that travelers want to experience for themselves what their favorite Olympians did--and tour groups are seeing bookings jump as much as 20 percent.
Chanting will have to be sufficient: Beijing officials are instructing fans at next month's summer Olympics to leave banners larger than 2 meters by 1 meter (about 6' by 3') at home when they go to cheer on their favorite athletes.
Musical instruments, cameras (seriously?!) and animals other than guide dogs should stay home too, but according to guidelines the TSA would be proud of, "small quantities" of lip gloss and sunscreen are OK to bring. And reinstated for spectators from the Sydney and Athens games are umbrellas, provided they have short handles.
As with all Olympic moves, there are some vaguely menacing politics behind the news: Even a banner saying "Go China!" is considered impolite to visiting athletes, but a by-law prohibiting flags from non-participant countries may be aimed at protesters wanting to invoke the contentious relationship between China and Tibet.
· Babies Discouraged, Flags Banned, Lip-Gloss Limited [UK Times]
· Olympics Travel: Introducing the Official (Creepy) Cheer [Jaunted]
· Beijing Travel coverage [Jaunted]