Chengdu received 122 million tourists in 2012
2013-02-09 12:02:56 Source: Hits:
Updated: 05 Feb 2013
Along with the enduring popularity of Shanghai and Beijing, Chengdu is steadily establishing itself as one of China's top travel destinations.
According to the latest figures from the China Tourism Academy, the city, which is the capital of Sichuan Province, attracted some 122m visitors over the course of 2012, China Daily reports.
While the bulk of these tourists were Chinese nationals, growing numbers of foreigners are also starting to visit the city, with many arriving on a tour of Sichuan, home to the world-famous giant panda.
Indeed, around 80% of all pandas left in the world can be found in Sichuan, with a breeding centre just to the north of the capital attracting thousands of visitors a week.
Meanwhile, for more adventurous travellers, the Sichuan Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve is only around 160km from downtown Chengdu, making it reachable in a day.
Alongside its location in the heart of panda country, Chengdu is famed for its modern architecture, as well as for being one of the best places to sample the famously spicy Sichuan cuisine.