Beijing's government is opening up some of its departments to citizens, who, if they are bored with the capital's more traditional tourist attractions, can now find out how transportation is managed, or visit the organization that oversees their financial assets.
Currently, citizens must book visits through officially appointed travel agencies. But they may not have to in the future, said local authorities. The city is working on a booking system that handles individual tourists directly.
Two government organizations were opened to the public on April 10, Beijing Financial Assets Exchange, in Xicheng district, and the traffic management command center, attached to Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, in Chaoyang district.
More government departments will be opened up in future, said Li Huixin, vice director of travel coordination and regional cooperation with Beijing Traveling Committee, which is a division of Beijing municipal government, responsible for planning and promoting Beijing's tourism industry.
On the free tour of the traffic center, visitors are treated to a lecture about the history and the future plans for Beijing's transport systems, and can also realize how much work the government has done for the public, said Li.
"There can be misunderstandings if people don't know the real situation. Only by understanding can citizens coordinate with the government," said Li.
"Which government departments, how many and how are they to be opened to the public will be released next month," she said, adding that they were providing more tourism options to the public, including for foreigners, who can so far visit the Assets Exchange. But other organizations will decide themselves whether to provide access to foreigners, said Li.