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October 25, 2009

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'Nest' popularity grows

The National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest," has overtaken many famous landmarks in Beijing to become the second "must-see" scenic spot, according to a poll released at the opening of the 11th Beijing International Tourism Festival on Friday.

The poll, organized by Beijing Tourism Administration, drew responses from 14 million Internet users from home and abroad. Tourism industry experts had shortened to 16 an initial list of 30 attractions voted in May and June.

The "Water Cube," or National Aquatics Center, followed the Bird's Nest to come in third. The two "wonders" were built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The Great Wall in Badaling section still tops the list of tourist attractions. The top three are followed by such attractions such as the Palace Museum, or Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and Tian'anmen Square.

In a similar poll organized in 1986, Tian'anmen Square topped the list. It was followed by the Palace Museum, the Great Wall, Beihai Park, the Summer Palace and Fragrant Hill.

"This reflects tourists' choice," said Yang Yang, general manager of Beijing Spring International Travel Services.

"Since October last year, almost all tourists who have come to Beijing in groups have visited the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube," Yang said.

The new list reflected a more vibrant, modern Beijing, said Zhang Wei, a resident of Beijing.


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