When talking about classic international holiday destinations, China doesn’t usually to come to mind. Conventionally, countries such as France, Italy, Spain, The United States, and Australia are at the top of the list. Yet in recent years, China has joined the big players of the tourism industry, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world.
While Western destinations may remain popular, more and more travelers are curious about the wonders of the ancient country that has suddenly become an international superpower. But why now?
Perhaps it is the draw of secrecy. For many years, China was closed off to the rest of the world, only allowing a few select foreign visitors from 1949 until 1974. Even now, China strictly moderates online information, locking websites such as Facebook and Google. And with a growing population of over 1.4 billion, the country truly seems like its own mysterious planet.
In response to its increased popularity, China has taken steps to welcome tourism and allow for more convenient travel. The major cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai receive the highest number of tourists every year. However, other cities such as Shenzhen, Xi’an and Chengdu are also quickly rising in popularity.
At the moment China ranks third as a tourist destination country after France and the US, and here’s certainly no shortage of reasons why: the 4,000-year-old history, colorful culture, diverse natural scenery, lively cities, not to mention the delicious food. China’s tourist attractions such as The Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors are places everyone wants to go.
Recent data from Travel China Guide estimates that each year, China receives around 135 million foreign tourists, earning a jaw-dropping revenue of over 126 trillion USD.
Not only has inbound tourism to China grown enormously, but also the Chinese population themselves enjoy traveling in their home country. According to a survey conducted by Travel China Guide, 98% of the Chinese population were prepared to travel in the year 2017. This results in 4.88 trillion domestic journeys annually, with a yield of 4.39 trillion RMB.
China is the name everyone is adding to their bucket list.
So why wait? Let’s go and explore China.0