Beijing to open government complex for public tours

Updated: 2011-12-12 17:26


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BEIJING - Tourists and residents in Beijing will be able to tour the city government's office complex for the first time next year, tourism officials said on Monday.

The Beijing municipal government complex, which is typically off limits for tourists, is part of the first group of government buildings and businesses chosen by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development(BCTD) to be opened for public tours, said Song Yu, deputy director of the BCTD.

Starting from January 1, 2012, chosen government buildings and businesses will hold two "Tourist Days" annually, falling on May 19 (China Tourism Day) and September 27 (World Tourism Day). Tourists will be allowed to visit the buildings on those days.

Government office tours will be free, although companies will still be allowed to charge tourists for the tours. The BCTD is still in talks with the first group of 30-plus government offices and companies about the details of the project.

The commission is also encouraging more work units to join the project, especially those that are built on historical sites, as well as several large high-tech and handicrafts companies.

Song Yu said that the BCTD will use some money from the city's 1-billion-yuan ($151 million) tourism fund to support the project, as government offices and companies will need to install tourism facilities and print brochures.