During their visit of Switzerland, a majority of Chinese tourists will capture photographs of majestic mountains, cutesy villages, crystal clear lakes, trains and white swans.
These are the findings of a rather unusual study by the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI).
The Chinese point of view
With the goal of unlocking the visual representation of Switzerland in the digital sphere, a team of researchers analyzed user generated photographs on Sina Weibo, a Chinese social network.
While some of you might feel ambiguous about the ultimate purpose of this project, the findings are actually very valuable to those in charge of marketing Swiss destinations.
Knowing about the perceptions of Chinese tourists when they visit Switzerland helps 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. (We’re talking double digit growth on an annual basis — for the past decade.)
All of Switzerland in just 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 Swiss 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 travelers live in metropolitan areas back home in China, details that often seem unimportant to the Swiss are captured by their cameras frequently: Flower fields, Swiss flags or clean street corners.
Among a sample of 440 photographs by Chinese tourists, these are some of the larger themes that were identified in the USI study: