With the development of Chinese tourism market, the outbound tourism has attracted more and more attention in recent years and it has recently drawn much research attention in the academic community. Research reports that outbound tourism in China began in the early 1980s: the first stage appeared in 1983, the second stage began in 1990, and the third stage came out in 1997, it was not until this year that the Chinese government officially recognize the existence of a Chinese outbound market (Arlt, 2006; Zhu, 2007).
As the growth of Chinese outbound tourists, it is necessary to analyze the factors which affect Chinese tourists’destination choice.To impressively state this issue, the paper is structured as followed: First part is literature review, The development of Chinese outbound tourism is introduced first in this part; then it goes on to analyze the external and internal factors that affect Chinese outbound tourists destination choice. The external factors including policy factors, destination image and social factors. The internal factor is psychological factor refers to needs, wants, or emotional factors, such as the need of escape, relaxation, adventure, prestige, knowledge and novelty (Josiam, Huang, Spears, Kennon, & Bahulkar, 2009).
FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTSLiterature ReviewChinese Outbound TourismRecent research on tourism development reports that outbound tourism in China began in the early 1980s and has progressed through three initial stages (Zhang&Heung,2002). The first stage appeared in 1983, when the government allowed a limited number of organized tours to Hong Kong, and later, Macao.These tours were under the permission of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the purpose of these tourism is only visiting friends and relatives.
The second stage began in 1990, when the government signed bilateral agreements with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.These agreements allowed Chinese leisure tourists to self-fund travel to these country through the newly established Chinese Travel Service. However, the real birth of international tourism from China came out with the third stage.In 1997, the Chinese government signed its first bilateral agreements with the non-Asian countries of Australia and New Zealand, providing a opportunity for Chinese residence to experience Western culture firsthand (Keating, Byron W. and Kriz, Anton, 2008). External Factors
Policy FactorsIn the year of 1978, Deng Xiao-Ping has introduced the economic reforms, these were the building blocks for China’s recent years’economic growth and as a result, enabled the outbound tourism of China, from then on, Chinese outbound tourism began to boom its steps. Approved destination status (ADS) is one of those many remnants of socialism the FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTS Chinese government still uses to control what its people can do.
A foreign country must have ADS before Chinese tour groups are allowed to visit, the award of ADS to 27 European countries at the beginning of September is a big step forward. Not only was it the largest single expansion of the scheme, potentially bringing countries such as France, Spain and Italy onto Chinese tourists itineraries (“Business Asia,”2004). By mid 2008, over 130 countries have been granted ADS by the CNTA, with the United States being the most country to join the ADS system (PRC,2008). This policy established by Chinese government with the tourists destination countries has largely increased Chinese outbound tourists. Destination Image
According to Chon (1992), destination image is before people go to a destination they develop the image and a set of expectations based on previous experience, word of mouth, press reports, advertising and common beliefs. Destination image is acknowledged as a key factor which affects the tourists in destination choosing. However, despite its importance, and despite three decades of scholarly attention, there is still no consensus on a definition of the construct, nor agreement on how it is formed (Gallarza et al., 2002;
Ashworth & Voogt, 1990; Balogu & Brinberg, 1997;Echtner & Ritchie, 1993). But some analysis showed that the destination image has less correlation with the destination choice. For instance, Kim et al. (2005) declared that the ADS-approved destinations,Australia is considered to be the most attractive by Chinese outbound tourists,followed by Singapore and Egypt. Interestingly, a positive destination image does not correlate with destination choice.
For instance, according to Lim and Wang (2008), despite FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTS Australia’s popularity, it only ranks as the 10th most popular destination in term of actual travel. King et al. (2006) also raise the issue of non-ethical practices and their impact on destination image. Through the use of case study of Australia-China link,they discuss the impact of unethical shopping practices,false or misleading representations,and low service quality as key issues that have the potential to affect future tourism demand. Social Factors
The social factors related to the social-economic, cultural and demographic characteristics(Uysal&Hagan,1993). According to Keating and Kriz (2008), from an economic perspective, destination choice is concerned with issues of supply and demand, whereby tourism organizations package their various tourism products in ways that increase their competitiveness within a broader tourism market. The attractiveness of a destination relates to the specific bundles of attributes that represent the destination product (Keating&Kriz,2008).
Beerli and Martin (2004)announced that these attributes can be grouped under nine broad areas, and seven of them belong to external factors of destination choosing: natural attraction; general infrastructure; tourist infrastructure; politics and economics; the environment; social issues and atmospherics. And there is also a need to understand how various external factors influence on destination choice. Um and Crompton (1990) declared that the social networks and political environment of travelers’ home countries, and their exposure to marketing communications, are important moderators that can influence the perceived attractiveness of a destination. Internal Factors
FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTSPsychological FactorsAccording to Uysal and Hagan (1993), psychological factors relate to his or her values, motivation and personality. And also psychological factors refer to needs, wants, or emotional factors, such as the need of escape, relaxation, adventure, prestige, knowledge and novelty (Josiam, Huang, Spears, Kennon, & Bahulkar, 2009). Some internal factors in previous research are adventure, learning new things, for example,learn a totally different culture from people’s own culture, desire for pampering/comfort, and social interaction (Cook, Yale, & Marqua, 2006).
Crompton (1979) believes that good vacations will enhance family relationships, so another motivation of tourists’ psychological factors is the enhancement of kinship relationships. According to Keating and Kriz (2006), the notion that destination or itinerary selection may occur before making decision to travel is diametrically opposed to the current understanding of destination choice. People, markets, and stages of life differ, producing different decision-making patterns for different people and different destination choices. Methodology
Tools and participantsThe present study aims at figure out the factors which affect Chinese outbound tourists destination choice. For this project, it is assumed that the participants of this project-Chinese outbound tourists are all non-agriculture, adult Mainland Chinese citizens who have take an outbound tourism outside and within Asia in the past two years,or have planned to go on an outbound trip in the next two years. Visiting to friends and relatives and trips combined FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTS business with leisure are all included in these trips.
At this stage, a questionnaire survey will be conducted in three major Chinese outbound travel source market among 1500 people (i.e.,Beijing, n=500; Shanghai, n=500; Guangzhou, n=500). These questionnaires including 10 questions and will be both send to the tourists by the travel agencies and uploaded onto the Internet (see the questionnaire on appendix 1).
FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTSReferencesKeating, Byron W. and Kriz, Anton (2008). Outbound tourism from China: literature review and research agenda. Journal ofHospitality and Tourism Management , Vol. 15, No. 2 (2008): pp. 32-41.
FACTORS AFFECT CHINESE OUTBOUND TOURISTSAppendix 1QuestionnaireFactors Affect You In Outbound Tourism Destination ChoiceWhat’s your gender?Male B.FemaleWhat’ your age?A.0-25 B.26-50 C.51-75 D.75 and aboveYour employment statusA.Company employed B.Self employed C.Retired D.Student E.Homemaker F.Other 4.Your monthly house hold incomeA.Below RMB3000B.RMB3000-6000C.RMB6000-9000D.RMB9000-1,2000E.Above RMB1,2000 5.Highest level of educationA.Lower than high school B.High school C.Associate Degree D.Bachelor Degree E.Master Degree F.Dr. Degree