Top Travel Destinations In China

China is one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and has a rich history that spans over thousands of years. The country is home to an abundance of natural beauty, cultural landmarks, and historical sites that make it a popular destination for travelers from around the globe.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top travel destinations in China and provide insights into the behavior and preferences of Chinese tourists to help you better appeal to this market.

Join us as we take a virtual tour of some of China’s must-visit sites!

The Top Travel Destinations Within China

Explore China’s rich culture and history with a visit to the top tourist attractions, including the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City in Beijing, Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, and stunning natural landscapes such as Karst Peaks in Guilin and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The Great Wall Of China (Outer Beijing)

China’s Great Wall is key to attracting and catering to Chinese travelers.

The Great Wall of China is an impressive ancient architecture that extends across 15 regions in northern China, with the best-preserved section built during the Ming dynasty being 8,850 kilometers long.

The most popular part to visit is near Badaling Pass in Beijing, easily accessible by public transportation or organized tours.

Forbidden City (Beijing)

The Forbidden City in Beijing is a top choice among both domestic and international visitors.

The 180-acre complex is a historical site with an ornate design, majestic architecture, and cultural heritage from centuries past. It offers countless opportunities for captivating content on websites and social media channels.

Xian, China’s Old Capital

Xian, located in Shaanxi Province, China, is the second most popular tourist destination in the country. It offers visitors a rich historical and cultural experience, with famous landmarks such as the Terracotta Army and the Bell Tower.

The Muslim Quarter is also a must-see attraction, providing travelers with a unique glimpse into local life and traditional food.

Xian has become a favorite among tourists seeking an authentic cultural experience and is included in various travel guides about China’s

Shanghai, the Pearl of The Orient

Shanghai is one of the top travel destinations in China. This bustling city offers an array of cultural experiences and historical landmarks for tourists to explore.

The Bund, Yu Garden, Oriental Pearl Tower, and Shanghai Museum are among the top-rated tourist attractions in this vibrant city.

However, Shanghai isn’t merely known for sightseeing; it’s also renowned for its nightlife scene and delicious cuisine.


Tibet is a popular destination in China due to its beautiful natural scenery, cultural heritage, and spiritual centers like Lhasa and Potala Palace.

It also offers opportunities for adventure-seekers with Mount Everest and hiking trails.

Visitors can explore ancient temples and monasteries, attend cultural events, and try traditional Tibetan cuisine.

However, visiting Tibet requires government-issued permits due to its status as an autonomous region within China.

Hunan and Avatar Mountains

Hunan is a top travel destination in China located in South-Central China and is the fourth largest among landlocked provinces.

It has a rich cultural diversity with well-known nationalities and must-visit attractions such as Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, and Tianmen Mountain.

Visitors should also try its famous delicacies such as spicy hotpot dishes and rice noodles to experience local cuisine.


Guilin is a top travel destination in China, known for its stunning natural landscapes, cultural heritage, and well-equipped tourist infrastructure.

Visitors can easily explore the city with various transportation services and find accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury.

Delicious local cuisine is also available throughout the town.


Sichuan is a western province in China known as the “Land of Abundance”. It has beautiful natural scenery, including Jiuzhaigou national park with its clear lakes and waterfalls.

The province also has a unique culture and cuisine that attracts many visitors.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a popular attraction where visitors can see pandas up close.

Other notable places to visit include the Dujiangyan irrigation system and the Leshan Giant Buddha.


Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains, is one of China’s top-rated travel destinations. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often lauded as China’s loveliest mountain range.

The majestic peaks and natural wonders draw tourists from all over the world to hike its trails and experience Chinese culture up close.


Hangzhou is among the top travel destinations in China. The city boasts of natural beauty and traditional attractions, including temples and museums.

Hangzhou’s West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the must-visit tourist spots in China.

Moreover, Hangzhou is an essential economic and e-commerce hub in the country, second only to Shanghai in the Yangtze Delta region.


Yunnan, a province located in the southwest region of China, is a top travel destination known for its diverse landscapes and unique experiences.

Visitors can explore ancient towns, biodiverse natural landscapes, and scenic beauty.

Lijiang, Kunming, and Shangri-La are popular tourist attractions that offer a glimpse into Chinese cultural heritage.


Chengdu is a rising travel destination in China that offers a unique blend of history, tradition, and local culture.

It is famous for the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Pandas, making it a popular tourist attraction for nature lovers.

Chengdu is also known for its vibrant atmosphere and has been voted as the happiest city in China.

Visitors can explore cultural and historical attractions such as Baoguang Temple or experience city life at Chengdu Tea Houses.

Additionally, foodies will appreciate the delicious local dishes available throughout the city due to Sichuan Province being well-known for its spicy cuisine.

The Silk Road (Various Locations)

The Silk Road is a network of historic trade routes that linked the East and the West from ancient times to the 15th century.

The route was used by caravans that transported goods such as silk, spices, tea, and precious stones from China through Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Britain.

The Silk Road is associated with several top travel destinations within China due to its historical and cultural significance.

Cities like Xian and Dunhuang have preserved ancient ruins along these routes that attract history buffs worldwide.


One of the top travel destinations in China is Shandong. This province has a rich historical and cultural heritage, boasting several important cultural sites such as the Temple of Confucius in Qufu and Taishan Mountain.

Additionally, Shandong is famous for its culinary specialties such as medicinal cuisine, beer brewing (Qingdao Beer Museum), and seafood dishes found in its seaside cities.

Mount Tai and Laoshan Scenic Area are among the many natural landmarks in Shandong that attract tourists from all over the world.

Travel Behavior And Preferences Of Chinese Travelers

Chinese travelers

Travel Habits And Preferences

Chinese tourists prefer group packages for convenience and security while traveling.

Historical landmarks like The Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army are popular among international travelers, while domestic tourists prefer scenic spots like Guilin’s Karst Peaks or Yunnan’s Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Shopping is also an important part of the Chinese tourist experience.

Impact Of Digital Technology And Social Media On Chinese Travelers

In today’s world, technology plays a pivotal role in shaping and predicting future trends for Chinese travelers.

Social media platforms such as WeChat play a significant role in influencing tourists’ decision-making processes when choosing destinations or accommodations.

While this presents opportunities for retailers, consumer goods brands, the travel sector, and hospitality services to reach more customers online, it also poses challenges as they must create digitally-enhanced solutions to cater to tech-savvy consumers.

Strategies For Attracting Chinese Travelers

Language Considerations

Language-specific amenities are crucial for attracting Chinese travelers. This includes providing signs or menus in Chinese, access to Mandarin-speaking staff or tour guides, and even localized messaging on social media and websites.

For example, many businesses assume that using the color red is automatically attractive because it is considered lucky in China.

However, this is not always the case as preferences can vary by region and demographic.

Utilize Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or Influencer Marketing

Douyin KOL travel

In recent years, Chinese travelers have become increasingly reliant on recommendations from Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) when planning their trips.

KOLs are influential bloggers and social media celebrities who have a large following in China and are seen as experts in their respective fields.

These KOLs have a significant impact on the travel decisions of Chinese tourists, as they trust their opinions and recommendations.

For example, if a popular Chinese travel blogger recommends a particular destination or hotel, it can lead to a surge in bookings from Chinese tourists. In fact, many Chinese travelers trust KOLs more than traditional advertising or even recommendations from friends and family. This is because KOLs are seen as experts in their field and are often perceived as more objective and trustworthy.

As a result, many travel companies in China are partnering with KOLs to promote their products and services, and this trend is expected to continue in the future.

We are your local partner in China!

Despite COVID-19’s impact, China remains one of the world’s most influential inbound and outbound tourist markets.

Chinese travelers are becoming more diversified in their interests and preferences when choosing travel destinations.

It’s also crucial for hotels to create welcoming environments for Chinese tourists by addressing language barriers and cultural preferences while implementing effective marketing strategies promoting the destination or hotel in China.

Contact GMA

We are a China-based marketing agency offering cost-effective solutions to foreign brands interested in tapping into the Chinese market. Our team of Chinese and foreign experts has the experience and know-how needed to succeed in this lucrative, yet complicated market.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency offers many digital marketing and e-commerce solutions, such as web design, e-commerce and social media marketing strategies, localization, market research, KOL marketing, and more.

Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us, so that we can schedule a free consultation with one of our experts, that will learn about your brand and present you the best solutions for your China market strategy.

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