Digital technology invigorates cultural, sports sectors at CIFTIS
VR among top attractions at Beijing exhibition
Published: Sep 05, 2023 10:15 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Overseas Cultural Exchanges Center

Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Overseas Cultural Exchanges Center

Digital technology has taken center stage at the cultural and sports sections at the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, where these digital exhibitions attract thousands of visitors every day. 

Virtue reality (VR) technology and digital interaction services have become top destinations for visitors, who are willing to queue up for hours to have the opportunity to try an immersive experience of visiting Chinese tourist hot spots ranging from the magnificent Great Wall in North China to the picturesque Gulangyu island in East China's Fujian Province.

A Peking Opera exhibition has also become a magnet for visitors.

"By combining art with technology, visitors can experience visual, acoustic and interactive Peking Opera tours here," said Zhao Yafei, an official with Beijing Overseas Cultural Exchanges Center, which runs the Peking Opera exhibition. "We hope, through this modernized and youthful interactive combination, we can attract more young visitors to learn about Peking Opera."

A Peking Opera face mask installation takes the center stage at the pavilion. It demonstrates four different images as viewers look at it from four different angles. 

Yang Mingming is among the visitors who spent quite a long time at the Peking Opera exhibition. 

Wearing traditional Chinese clothing with three of her friends, Yang said she was impressed by the choice to use the four principal roles of Beijing Opera - Sheng (male role), Dan (female role), Jing (painted-face male role) and Chou (clown) - to decorate the pavilion. 

"The four sections using the principal roles of Peking Opera are quite interesting as they tell different stories behind the development of Peking Opera, as well as blending in modern technologies," Yang told the Global Times. 

In sports, VR tech has also attracted many visitors, as they queue up for simulators for ski jumping and cross-country skiing, two sports that have grown in popularity after Beijing hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 2022 but are still rare for ordinary people.

A set of four rowing machines have also become a hot spot for socializing, as spectators can compete in a four-person digital race thanks to the digital interaction system embedded in the machines. 

Out of the exhibitions, a high-profile forum was held on improving the quality of sports services globally.

"Sport is a highly important industry that spans across sectors, disciplines and regions. We must consider the overall return on social investment, including improvements in health, and reduced crime rates," Nico Schiettekatte, Dutch counselor for Health, Welfare and Sport in China, told the forum. "By increasing collaboration in sports, sharing knowledge and innovation, we can use sports to enhance social development on a global scale."

Chen Bokun, a consultant of French company Wavelandes, which promotes inland surfing and watersports parks, said integration of sports with cutting-edge technology is vital for its development. 

"It is essential to accelerate the integration of sports and technology as it can make it easier to conduct sustainable development and promote green sports practices," Chen told the Global Times. 

"We need to break down barriers in the sports industry and encourage its integration with other sectors. This will truly transform sports into a thriving industry as sports bring joy to our lives."