Kaiser Kuo, Lived in Beijing for 20 years, from 1996 to 2016
Answered May 15, 2015
While both countries offer rich cultural and historical experiences for tourists, and while there's a much higher percentage of Indians who speak good English, I think it really can't be denied that China generally has better tourism infrastructure: Better airports, more numerous flights, better and more convenient highways, a very advanced high speed rail network, more four- and five-star hotels with a more affordable price point, better sanitation, and less visible poverty—slums, beggars, what have you—which tourists don't generally like to see.
For tourists from developed countries, India is generally regarded as more "challenging." I think this is a good part of the reason.
Vaibhav Maheshwari, Has traveled far and wide
Answered May 27, 2015
I will not give long answers, but am sure most will agree with the below points.
1. Because we litter casually and do not think twice about public space hygiene
2. Our men both educated and uneducated stare at women lecherously. This percentage is quite large.
3. Some men out of those mentioned in point 2 make an attempt of sexual assault if given a chance. Gross misconception about women from outside india. This percentage is quite small given that there are 300 million men in the age group 20-50 and there are 4 lakh female tourists each year...and around a dozen cases of rape get reported each year.
4. Try to make the most out of a helpless person who has no clue about local rates like taxi, hotel etc.
5. Behave racially. A black tourist from USA might get differential treatment than a white one from the same country.
6. Show no interest in their culture and keep on repeating "Our culture is the best". None of the points from 1-5 above proves this quote.
7. Apathetic government policies.
Matthew Hartzell, Former professional travel writer and private tour guide.
Updated Oct 31, 2015
I've traveled extensively in both China and India.
It's fair to say that both China and India are popular with foreign tourists. However, the numbers speak for themselves, China definitely sees far more total tourists. I can surmise several reasons for this.
China is simply larger than India, and has more overall destinations. Most visitors to India spend as little time as possible in India's crowded cities, preferring cultural and natural destinations. China's cultural and natural destinations are huge draws too, but unlike India, China's cities are also major draws.
The quality of transportation infrastructure in China is light-years ahead of India, there's simply no comparison. It is far easier and more comfortable for tourists to get around China than it is for them to get around India. China's air, rail, and road networks are all faster, safer, and more modern than India's.
As others have mentioned, the situation in India particularly for female travelers is pretty bad. Travelers need to be constantly vigilant to guard themselves from thieves, pickpockets, scams, and, for female travelers, sexual harassment and rape. Apart from pickpocketing and the occasional scam artist at tourist traps, there is very little for travelers to worry about in China. Violent crime and rape are almost unheard of. You can walk down dark city streets at night in China and have nothing to worry about.
China not only has better transportation connections within its borders, it also enjoys much better international connectivity than India. The number of international flights from Chinese cities to North America and Europe is far greater than in India. The number of Chinese cities with international flights is higher, too. China is located nearby major markets for international tourists—Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. India's neighbors however are mostly poor and not major markets for international tourists. China has dozens of busy land borders. India's land borders, with the exception of Nepal, are notoriously difficult to cross.