Edinburgh among most popular destinations for Chinese tourists, new research shows

New research has found that the Capital is among the most popular places for Chinese tourists to visit in Scotland.
Chinese tourists visiting Victoria Street (Photo: VisitScotland)Chinese tourists visiting Victoria Street (Photo: VisitScotland)
Chinese tourists visiting Victoria Street (Photo: VisitScotland)

The survey, the first of its type looking at the travel habits of Chinese people aged 25-45, identified the main draws for the capital and the country as a whole.

Asking 1,500 Chinese people from the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, including those who have and have not visited Scotland before, the research found that Chinese tourists expect a certain type of Capital to greet them.

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Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle were two of the most well-known and iconic attractions for tourists, with the Capital, along with Glasgow, the Highlands and Loch Lomond, the most popular destinations.

The research also found that Chinese holidaymakers who haven’t visited Scotland before rely on very traditional images when thinking of Scotland: bagpipes, kilts, whisky, and castles.

However, those who have visited before also associate Scotland with images of wildlife, nature, escapism, spirit of freedom and friendly local people.

Around 35 per cent of these holidaymakers consider Scotland to be full of proud history and heritage and 30 per cent believe it is a non-touristy destination where they can truly enjoy themselves.

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Those surveyed also deemed Scotland a great place for active or outdoor pursuits and think it has breath-taking natural scenery.

The majority of visitors stayed in a hotel while in Scotland, with over half in four star and above.

Hazel Sellar, VisitScotland market manager for China, said: “This is a first of its kind piece of research in China by VisitScotland, which will enable us to tailor our marketing activity even further and to ensure Scotland is on Chinese travellers’ must-see list.

“People in China increasingly enjoy holidays to long-haul destinations. Their growing appetite for unique and exciting experiences means that Scotland is perfectly positioned to offer them exactly what they’re looking for time and time again."

She added: "Tourism is more than a holiday experience - it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”