How to escape from the crowds of the Forbidden City

Case Study | Tour Guide Systems

The Scenario

The Forbidden City is a huge palace complex in central Beijing. It is the magnificent architectural complex of the former Imperial Palace (from the Ming to the Qing Dynasty), and today the Palace Museum houses a vast collection of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, and antiquities. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and receives millions of visitors annually.


The Opportunity

This historic location suffers from over tourism, and visitors are often unable to enjoy its charm due to the vast crowds and noise pollution. As if that was not enough, the visitors also have to cram together to hear their guide, leading to bottlenecks in crowd flow, and at the same time they still risk missing the guide’s commentary. Topping all this, the negative reviews and UGC created by frustrated visitors is placing the reputation of this unique location at risk.

Travel agencies and tour operators need to quickly and cost effectively offer a reliable solution to this alarming situation. Their local guides need a tool to assist them in efficiently dealing with the huge numbers of multi-language visitors. Guides need to be heard without straining their voices and visitors need to be able not only to hear clearly, but also not get lost or lose their guide.

The Solution

Vox audio guide systems proved to be a good solution for over-tourism in the Forbidden City. In 2016 the international tour operator CYTS decided to use the Vox Radio Guides for their tours, more specifically for incoming tourists interested in a guided tour of the Forbidden City tour.

The guides were extremely happy with the devices which were easy to use and meant that their words were heard, and their visitors were very satisfied with the tour. Finally, the travel operator CYTS was able to offer their groups a peaceful and informative visit to this unique location, greatly reducing the stress for everyone involved.

The superior technology of the Vox Radio Guides, and the working range of over 300 metres, meant the guides were able to communicate clearly to the visitors through the earphones, without their voice getting lost in the crowd.

The Result

After the success of the first season the Tour Operator CYTS decided to increase the number of Radio Guided tours to all the experiences that they offered. In 2017 their reviews improved, and their number of pre-booked tours increased, meaning they were better able to organise their tour agenda, further improving the visitor flow issues.

The evident enhancement and success of the Radio Guides lead to the CYTS also utilising the Vox system in their proposed outbound tours. Today their business is flourishing and their client satisfaction in just two years has increased three-fold. In 2018 CYTS decided to seal an exclusive contract with Vox tours.