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China's Top Tourist Attractions

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Visit China and not see the Great Wall? Probably unthinkable for more than two-thirds of people living in the Asia Pacific region who want to visit China, according to a survey commissioned by Visa.

Of the 3,140 people from across the Asia Pacific region who were likely to visit China during or after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the majority (69%) put the Great Wall at the top of their list of places to see, followed by the Forbidden City (43%). More than a third (35%) wanted to visit the Silk Road.

The Great Wall seemed to be of particular interest to people aged 18 to 24 years as more than three out of four (78%) said they wanted to visit it – nearly twice the number of people who wanted to see the Forbidden City (40%) and almost three times as those who wanted to see the Silk Road (28%).

Richard Chang, Visa’s Executive Vice President and General Manager for Greater China and the Philippines said, “With China hosting the Olympic Games, Chinese culture and history are definitely more in the spotlight than ever before. It is wonderful to see that the Great Wall remains a firm favorite, especially the Badaling section, which draws around 10 million visitors a year.”

Between 17 March and 9 April 2008, Nielsen conducted 4,556 online and door-to-door interviews on behalf of Visa with people aged 18 years and above from nine countries and territories (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and India) in an effort to measure their travel intentions in the future. For each market, quotas were set by key demographic variables to ensure the sample was representative of the general population.

The Great Wall holds strong attraction for Malaysians (91%), followed by Australians (88%) and New Zealanders (87%). Interestingly, nearly half of those from Hong Kong favour the Jiuzhaigou National Park (49%) over visiting the Great Wall (41%). The Forbidden City is the second most popular attraction, and Malaysians (75%), Australians (70%) and New Zealanders (64%) continue to lead the way, followed by Singapore (62%), and Korea (46%).

In a departure from the other markets, 41% of Indians named Li River as their second top attraction, and the Taiwanese named the Jiuzhaigou National Park (53%). The Japanese prefer the Silk Road (53%) and the Terracotta Warriors (43%) over the Forbidden City.

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