Newly Swissed Online Magazine

Mountains, Lakes and Trains: How Chinese Tourists View Switzerland

Chinese Tourists - Zurich

When visiting Switzerland, Chinese tourists tend to capture photographs of majestic mountains, cutesy villages and iconic chocolate bars.

These are the findings of a rather unusual study by the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI).

A Chinese point of view on Switzerland

With the goal of unlocking the visual representation of Switzerland online, a team of researchers analyzed user generated photographs on Sina Weibo, a Chinese social network. While the ultimate purpose of this project might be ambiguous to many, the results are very valuable to Swiss destinations.

Knowing about the perceptions of Chinese tourists when they visit Switzerland may help destinations fine-tune their marketing pitches. After all, visitors from China have surpassed all other nations and have become the fastest growing segment in Switzerland.

Switzerland in 1.5 days

A typical visit to Switzerland takes 1.5 days, covers Grindelwald, Interlaken, Engelberg and Geneva, and ends at Zurich Airport. Rice is the preferred breakfast. An average of 159 Francs is paid for hotel rooms, but chambres on the forth floor are generally avoided (the number "4" is believed to be unlucky).

Since many Chinese travelers live in metropolitan areas, details which seem unimportant to Swiss are captured by their cameras more often than not: Flower fields, pure lakes and even street corners.

Among a sample of 440 photographs by Chinese tourists, these are some of the larger themes that were identified:



Swiss Flags


Cheese and Chocolate

Buildings, Houses and Streets



(Pictures copyright NZZ/Janine Schranz, Keystone, dpa/Christof Sonderegger, 20min)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.

Dimitri Burkhard

Download our e-book: 77 Facts about Switzerland