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Tourism in China

tourism in china

tourism in china

Information About Tourism In China

Even though China is often associated with industrialism and mass production, the tourism sector in China continues to develop in the last few years. In fact, tourism in China provides more than 500,000 direct job opportunities and its total revenue has reached 2,947.5 billion CNY.

The numbers for inbound tourism in China

When compared to 2012, the inbound tourism sector in China did not perform as well. However, there were still 129 million visitors to China in 2013. This meant an estimated income of about 51.7 billion USD. The soul of tourism in China is culture. Tourists from around the world feel drawn to the ancient oriental giant that has a recorded history of more than 5,000 years. Also contributing to the popularity of China were the Shanghai Expo 2010 and Beijing Olympics in 2008. As to be expected, the two most popular destinations for tourism in China include Beijing and Shanghai, with Xian and Guangzhou coming in third and fourth respectively.

What are some of the must-visit locations in China?

Few people are going to travel to China to see the industrial complex rise. Some of the most popular sites include the colorful folk customs, splendid national cultural heritage, imposing imperial palaces, and the delicate water towns. Considering the massive size of the nation, it would be impossible to narrow down everything that you ‘must see’.


The three major tourist cities are Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian. The long and colorful history of Beijing is represented by the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and the world-famous Great Wall. What were once the fading residential Beijing Hutongs (a narrow lane or alleyway in a traditional residential area of a Chinese city, especially Beijing), now have changed into pedestrian streets with stylish bars, restaurants, and shops.



In the last fifty years of the last century, Shanghai has become an international metropolis. You can see the city’s rapid development from the Bund (a waterfront area in central Shanghai) on the Huangpu River. The massive differences on both banks highlight the changes that Shanghai has undergone.



Xian is known as the ‘pearl of the Yellow River’, often referred to as the birthplace of ancient Chinese culture. The famous Silk Road started here, traveling from Dunhuang to Europe more than a thousand years ago. You can also see the Horses of Emperor Qin Shihuang and the spectacular Terracotta Warriors here, both of these were excavated in Xian.

The must-see sights as a tourist in China

China evokes images of the treasures of an ancient civilization, ancient tradition, and history. These are three of the absolute must-see sights for anyone interested in tourism in China:


  • The Great Wall – This series of stone and earth fortifications was both built and rebuilt during the 6th century BC and the 16th century. The goal of the Great Wall was to keep the nomadic peoples of the northern steppe out of the Chinese Empire.
  • The Forbidden City – Since 1987, the Forbidden City has been a World Heritage site. It has an aura of pomp and majesty and imparts a sense of grandeur and wealth. The almost 720,000 square meters of gardens, great halls, pavilions, and courtyards were closed off from the world for 500 years. Nowadays, it has once again become one of the most popular historical sites in the world.
  • The Terracotta Army – The Terracotta Army was buried in 210 BC with the first emperor of the Qin dynasty and only dug up when a farmer was trying to dig a well in 1974. There are thousands of life-size figures here, each of them with armor styles appropriate to their rank and individually modeled faces.

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Updated: April 6, 2015 — 5:54 am

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