China caps number of visitors at Great Wall

Only up to 65,000 people will be allowed at a popular section of the site per day

A part of the Great Wall, one of China’s most popular landmarks, will soon introduce restrictions on the number of visitors. The aim is to ensure optimal capacity for the site. It will also be possible to order an online ticket to ease the congestion.

The Badaling section in Beijing’s Yanqing district will be limited to 65,000 visitors a day. Among other potential risks, the large crowds coming to the wall every day also pose safety concerns. The visitor limit should relieve pressure and help increase safety overall.

“When I visited the Badaling part of the Great Wall last summer I could barely move, there were too many people,” said Rui Nate, a student from Peking University.

“I believe the policy of setting a daily quota may prevent extreme peaks in the number of visitors.”

More than 9.9 million people visited the Badaling section of the Great Wall in 2018. The numbers fluctuated throughout the year depending on whether it was the off or peak season. The visitor number reached 80,000 a day during the National Day holidays in 2018. The record numbers also placed additional pressure on the staff.

 

Some parts of the Great Wall saw up to 80,000 visitors a day — Bankoo / Shutterstock
Some parts of the Great Wall saw up to 80,000 visitors a day — Bankoo / Shutterstock

Online ticketing system should help with congestion

On 1 June, the administration is introducing an online ticketing system where visitors can purchase their admission tickets.

Both individuals and groups will be able to purchase their tickets seven days in advance. The tickets will carry the visitor’s name and will be restricted to one per identity document.

“This is not the first time that a scenic spot has adopted online ticketing, and it will reduce waiting time and provide a more comfortable experience for the visitors,” said Song Rui, director of the Tourism Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Local tourists can access the Great Wall with their valid ID cards. Foreign visitors will need to pick up their printed electronic tickets at the service window near the gate.