By Jin Haixing
BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- The delights and flavors of the world's leading cities are coming to Beijing with the opening of a center dedicated to replicating what tourists will see.
A trial run for the experience center will start on Thursday as one of the major events during the Fragrant Hill Summit for world tourism cities from Sept 11 to 14.
The interactive center, located in the city's Shijingshan district, will showcase the scenery and attractions of more than 60 global cities through the use of digital displays and three-dimensional technology, according to the World Tourism Cities Federation, the center's operator.
After the trial run, the center will open to the public during the National Day holiday in October, said Yan Han, deputy head of the federation, at a news conference on Thursday.
Yan said the second phase for the experience center will house the foundation's headquarters and will also serve as a theme park dedicated to tourism.
The federation is a nonprofit and international nongovernmental organization founded in Beijing in 2012. It has 68 members from various global cities and 39 institutions from around the world. Representatives from more than 100 members of the federation have confirmed their participation in the event, including mayors from about 30 cities.
In May this year, the federation's status as an international organization was recognized by the United Nations.
The tourism experience will allow Beijing residents to see their tour destinations before they make their travel plans, said Yu Debin, deputy director of the Beijing Commission of Tourism Development.
It will also help Beijing learn from the experience of member cities, Yu said.
In 2012, visitor arrivals in Beijing exceeded 231 million, bringing revenue of 330 billion yuan ($53.9 billion). The added value contributed by the tourism industry accounted for 8 percent of the gross domestic product in Beijing in 2012, according to official statistics.
During this year's Fragrant Hill Summit, the second World Tourism Cities Expo will be held, and forums for media, aviation operators, tourism services and relevant enterprises will also be held during the summit, authorities said.
(Source: China Daily)