Beijing saw a record surge tourism in 2012 as 231 million people flocked to the Chinese capital. The tourism industry in Beijing generated over £36.2 billion last year.
The amount of people visiting Beijing was up 8.1 per cent, against 2011, last year. The increase is thought to be due to number of factors including the tourism industry investing 68.1 billion yuan into improving attractions and the addition of 19 more leisure areas offering wider food options and accommodation for visitors.
Since hosting the Olympic Games in 2008, Beijing has reportedly seen a steady increase in tourism, with the games highlighting some of the sights Beijing has to offer. Some of the main sights visited by tourists include the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square, the Wangfujing shopping quarter, Coal Hill Park and the Great Wall of China just outside of the city. Visitors attracted to the wide range of shopping facilities and streets full of local culinary delights spent 189.4 billion yuan on shopping and dining in 2012.
China has also introduced new visa policies for Beijing and Shanghai, meaning tourists staying for under 72 hours no longer have to apply for a visa, which is expected to attract more people to the two Chinese cities. China Eastern Airlines has also added new flights connecting Sydney directly to Beijing which is hoped to increase tourism further in 2013.
Since 2005 the Chinese government has targeted to make Beijing a well known National Capital, as well as international city and has invested billions of yuan into improving the city’s transport, attractions and hotels.