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Travelers invited to visit countries in 3-D

Beijing residents may get a chance to sample a country before actually traveling abroad in the future – thanks to technology, said the tourism authority.

“With a mobile terminal and 3-D technology, people can indulge in the natural scenery and landscape of other countries without leaving their home country,” said Lu Yong, head of the Beijing Tourism Development Committee, during the inaugural meeting of the expert committee of the World Tourism Cities Federation in Beijing on Tuesday.

“You can get a taste of the exotic culture before setting a foot abroad,” he said.

Lu did not elaborate on when such experiences could materialize.

The federation, founded last year in Beijing, has been growing and gaining influence over the past year as tourism becomes more popular, according to the committee.

Currently comprising 77 destinations including Los Angeles, Rome, Berlin and Moscow, the federation is expected to attract 100 entities by September for its annual symposium.

Tourism has become a significant opportunity for international exchanges and a popular vacation activity, and the committee plans to better regulate and provide fundamental norms to improve the experience, Lu said.

A think tank of 15 tourism experts from around the globe held meetings on Tuesday to promote tourism research and academic exchanges.

With outbound tourism developing rapidly, the federation aims to make an alliance to provide more convenience to overseas travelers and devise practical methods and policies during annual symposiums.

“With more direct discussion among member cities, the federation would further facilitate people’s foreign travel,” said Zhang Hui, a tourism professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and a member of the think tank.

Zhang said the number of Chinese tourists going abroad has grown rapidly over the past few decades, and they are becoming a major purchasing power in the international market.

Beijing, as a world-class tourism site, should further improve service and provide various tourism packages to meet diversified demands, he said.

Lu said the federation is also considering uniting media, tourism services and aviation operators during the symposium in September, to further facilitate outbound trips and assure sufficient service.

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