Journal of China Tourism Research – Special issue on “Emerging Issues in the Chinese Outbound Tourist Market”

Call for Papers

Journal of China Tourism Research

Special issue on “Emerging Issues in the Chinese Outbound Tourist Market”

Guest Editors

Claire Liu, PhD

Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Mingming Cheng, PhD

Curtin University, Australia

Journal of China Tourism Research (JCTR) publishes the latest research on tourism that relates to China and its citizens and encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and commentaries. It provides a rich forum for exchange of fresh information and ideas among academics and practitioners; fosters and enhances cutting-edge research activities that advance tourism knowledge; and discusses the relevance of tourism to the Chinese society. JCTR is the affiliated journal of International Association for China Tourism Studies (IACTS).

The rapid development of Chinese outbound tourism has drawn increasing attention and interest from both academia and the industry in the last decade. Recent years have seen the rapid changes in the Chinese outbound tourism market as a result of China’s technological advancement and economic growth as well as Chinese government’s global development strategies. For example, the launches of Year of Tourism initiative in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have provided opportunities and challenges for the tourism industry in these destinations. While there have been a number of special issues on Chinese outbound published in the last decade (e.g. Li, 2016; Tse & Arlt, 2011), such rapid changes require new research evidence to advance both scholar and tourism practitioners’ understanding and knowledge of Chinese outbound tourism.

The special issue of Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing (Keating, Huang, Kriz, & Heung, 2015) has shown that research into Chinese outbound tourism thus far has focused on general market analysis and the driving factors of Chinese outbound tourism; the link between cultural values and travel motivations; and the reversed host-guest relationship in international tourism flows. This calls for another special issue for JCTR to continue identifying emerging issues in the Chinese outbound tourism market. 

Some key themes:

This special issue invites submissions in the following themes based on empirical and/or theoretical research. Suggested topics include but not limited to:

  • Impacts of China’s Year of Tourism Scheme
  • Sharing economy and Chinese outbound tourists
  • Technology induced behavior, such as, auto itinerary planning apps
  • One Belt One Road (OBOR) Initiative and Chinese outbound market trends
  • Risk and safety of Chinese outbound tourists, such as sole traveler; road safety issues
  • Inter-generational differences of Chinese outbound tourists
  • The sustainability of Chinese outbound tourism market
  • The dynamics of small group Free Individual Traveller market
  • The flow-on impacts of Chinese overseas student market

Submission deadline:

• One-page abstract due: 15 November 2019

To clearly address the focus, the abstract should outline the context of study, perspectives/approaches adopted, main findings where appropriate, and potential contributions. Please also include paper title, authorship, author affiliation(s) and contact information (including the email addresses of all authors) and keywords (maximum six) in the submission. Authors will be notified of the outcome no later than 15 December 2019. 

• Full paper due: 30 April 2020

All papers are to be peer reviewed before possible inclusion in the special issue.

• Projected publication date: Dec. 2020

Submission Guidelines:

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or be under review for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the journal’s “Instructions for Authors”

Abstracts should be submitted as an email attachment to both guest editors via the addresses below:

Dr Claire Liu, School of Hospitality and Tourism, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand


Dr Mingming Cheng, School of Marketing, Curtin Business School, Curtin University, Australia


Submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors and those that align with the themes of the special issue will be invited for full paper submission. Full papers should be submitted to the journal’s online platform ( Please indicate in the cover letter that this paper is submitted for publication consideration in this special issue.


Huang, S., Keating, B. W., Kriz, A. & Heung, W. (2015). Chinese outbound tourism: An epilogue. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 32(1-2), 153-159.

Li, X. (2016). Emerging-market research: New bottles and new wine? Journal of Travel Research, 55(4), 419-426.

Tse, T., & Arlt, W. (2011). Guest Editors’ Note -Mainland China’s Outbound Tourism. Journal of China Tourism Research. 7 (3), 343-344.

Welcoming Chinese Tourists: my responses to questions asked at South Island Lantern Business Forum in Christchurch, 2019

  • What are accommodation trends for young Chinese tourists? Eg. What type of accommodation are they most likely to stay in? How can we attract young Chinese?

There are an increasing number of Chinese young tourists starting to use non-traditional accommodation providers to have an authentic kiwi experience, such as Airbnb. However, China has their own popular peer-to-peer rental platform, such as Xiaozhu ( It is important to note in China, 100 NZ dollars are enough to have a four star hotel. So instead of trying to match the service standard of hotels in China, accommodation providers should provide them with “unique” aspect of kiwi accommodation experience.  I would also suggest accommodation service provider register themselves in Chinese search engine, by providing their location and business contact numbers (noting that google has been blocked in China). It is very likely that your accommodation will be ranked higher than others when they search accommodation. Also, do not let them translate for you, but do provide a name in Chinese. For example, Small kiwi house is simply translated as “Zhaodai Suo”, which literally suggests “old and poor” quality accommodation.

  • Are Chinese likely to be backpackers?

Most of young Chinese tourists are unlikely to be backpackers. Considering the average salary in first tier cities (e,.g. Beijing – RMB 8467 per month (1,843 NZ dollar) in China, those Chinese who travel to New Zealand are usually middle-class, who might stay in youth hostels but will be willing to spend lots of monies on the experiential activities.

  • Are we placing too much risk on the China market for Tourism? Are we alienating other markets? Translating documentation or signage could work against us

It is always useful to diversify the tourist market, but the current volume of Chinese tourists coming to New Zealand is huge. The growth is likely to increase with the growth of Chinese middle class. As such, it is always a good idea to have documentation translated into a few languages instead of one. But considering our limited resource, one thing is clear that we want to have our investment on the right market.

  • What is the most used app or forum to find accommodation when they travel?

It really depends. There are a number of apps in China for Chinese tourists to book accommodation. C-trip is one but there are also popular and emerging ones including fliggy, Airbnb, (Chinese version). For the Chinese market, there are various segments. Thus, it is worth investigating to see which segment you would like to attract and then find the right app or platform.

  •  Does it bother millenials that NZ have average 4G?

I do not think this will be the case, as New Zealand is perceived by Chinese young tourists as a place to “go back to the nature”. But it is important to provide wifi in accommodation, so that they can share with their friends and family.

  • Do Chinese millennials follow social influences when planning their trips?

They do, but mostly grassroots influencers

  • When are we likely to see benefits of the Chinese? – NZ tourism year this year? Are Chinese numbers down this summer?

Increase awareness of NZ as a tourist destination in the second-tier cities in China. The number will grow but will not a big jump in the first or second year right after the China-NZ year.

  • Do young Chinese people want to learn about NZ history?

They do. But the key challenge is to how to story tell NZ history to Chinese tourists. They are not simply interested in facts. Also, it is important to provide points of references.

  • In the Chinese travel market where does CHCH sit? We see growth in Auckland and QSTN. What’s the feel re CHCH 8 years after the quake?

Compared to Queenstown and Auckland, Chinese tourists are generally less likely to stay long in CHCH considering the limited amount of activities they can do. I do not think earthquake has significantly impacts on Chinese visits but more about the activities. Currently, there is no consistent destination image of Christchurch to Chinese tourists.

  • Do young Chinese travellers prefer to go on road trips or package tour? Any statistics?

NZ tourism statistics shows that currently 49% of Chinese visitors are FIT. However, the number of FITs is likely to grow significantly. That is exactly why we need to target Chinese young tourists.

  • What would you say the top 5 Chinese travel blogs would be?

Not top five. Top two:

  • Is the earthquake still an implication for visitors to CHCH? Have we shot ourselves in the foot by referring to the earthquake still 8 years on?

I do not think it is a concern. A number of cities in China also experience Earthquakes and good to story tell this story by providing points of references. For example, detailing how Christchurch is being restored by comparing it to some cities in China.

  • Are young Chinese tourists interested in Ecotourism? How do we market Eco products to the young Chinese tourist?

Yes, they are but Chinese tourists’ understanding of ecotourism is very different from kiwis. Ecotourism to lots of Chinese is also associated with health benefits; as such, highlighting the health outcomes can play an important role.  In addition, Chinese way of approaching ecotourism is different. For example, in the western society, ecotourism to a large degree is associated with wilderness which is defined as “wild nature preserved in its original state largely altered or unaffected by human society” (McDonald et al., 2009, pp. 371- 185 372). However, wilderness in Chinese is equivalent to the term “Huang Ye” with a strong connotation as an abandoned place that is considered unsuitable for human beings. It is seldom regarded by Chinese tourists as a natural place for their leisure activities and they do not necessarily have cultural knowledge associated with Chinese Post-80s because of an absence of encounter with wilderness. As such, translation also plays an important part in that sense. Importantly, ecotourism sites should highlight the unity of human being and nature. For example, pictures of Chinese tourists with children in the ecotourism sites.

  1. What is the post 80s appetite for souvenirs such as photo packs or apparel?

I think if it is Chinese post-80s tourists’ first time to visit, they might buy it; but increasingly they are more interested in experiential products.  For souvenirs, it is important to emphases its distinctiveness to showcase Chinese post-80s’ personality.

Final Panel

  • Dr Chen, one of the challenges for NZ tourism service provider is getting awareness by Chinese tourist. What can NZ services do to get their name out?

I would always suggest NZ tourism service providers to engage with Chinese apps. It is not only about wechat but also other important apps that cater to particular segments. For example, Dazhong Dianping is a powerful restaurant search app. For restaurants, by registering a name and address, it will be very likely to increase the chance that Chinese visitors to visit the restaurants. More importantly, ask them to leave a comment on that app. By having more comments, your restaurant will rank higher in the app.

What do you Airbnb guests really care about during their stay in Sydney?

Key Points

  • Airbnb guests tend to evaluate their experience based on a frame of reference derived from past hotel stays.
  • To be a great host, besides the must-haves (e.g. cleanliness), you need to be flexible, have clear instruction, set realistic expectation, and have good communication with your guests, but also do give small surprise to your Airbnb guests.

What do you Airbnb guests really care about during their stay in Sydney?
Sydney has witnessed a rapid growth of Airbnb listings in the last few years. By the end of 2016, Sydney was ranked the fourth most popular destination for Airbnb in the world, with 23,615 listings. It was estimated that there are at least 181,263 guests using Airbnb in Sydney. So what do these guest care about when staying at these Airbnb listings?

My colleague – Dr Xin Jin from Griffith University and I (School of Marketing, Curtin University) have conducted sentiment analysis (i.e. to see whether the guests are happy or unhappy) and text-mining (i.e. to identify the key attributes) of 170,124 Airbnb guests’ English language review comments, as review comments mirror “the way consumers describe, relive, reconstruct, and share their experience” (Xiang et al., 2015, p. 44), which are considered important to guests. 

Our research suggests that Airbnb guests are overwhelmingly positive about their stay in Sydney. “Location” and “amenities” are the two areas that the guests cared most. This is no surprising, as Airbnb guests tend to use the criteria of traditional hotels to evaluate their Airbnb experience. Importantly, Sydney general city environment (e.g., transport, restaurants, city, shops, cafes, garden, station, and airport) enjoy highly positive scores and very low negative scores, indicating that city’s general environment could play a role in forming Airbnb user’s positive experience.

Host was ranked as third. Our research did not reveal that seeking authentic guest-host encounter was highly ranked. This is not surprising considering 23,615 listings at the end 2016 in Sydney with 61.9% of entire home/apartment. Within the host category, guests are mainly concerned with hosts’ helpfulness, flexibility, and communication of the hosts and the animals that Airbnb hosts have.

Thus, to be a great host, besides the must-haves (e.g. cleanliness), our research offers other seven tips that could help create a more enjoyable and happy Airbnb experience (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Tips

1: Set up realistic expectations. Some issues, such as Wifi, are easy to fix, while some are not. For example, our research shows that guests are negative about “noise”. For this, setting realistic expectations to explicitly highlight that there is noise occurring is important, so that guests are aware of this.

2: Provide clear instructions. Most often than not, Airbnb hosts can not be available 24 hours to answer enquiries and solve unexpected problems. Thus, Airbnb hosts need to provide a clear instruction on how to solve these problems, as our study shows that Airbnb guests are happy to read these instructions.

3: Do communicate. Airbnb services are lack of standard and this is becoming increasingly normalized in guest’s minds. Airbnb experience can be full of surprises. Besides, being accurate, do communicate throughout different stages (pre, onsite, and post), for different purposes (check-in/ out, facilities, help), and via different modes (online, face-to-face). It is important for the host to clearly highlight ways of communication, when to communicate, and who to talk to when there is an emergency. In particular, communications about check in and outs are important for guests in order to allay any confusion as very likely guests can be late or arrive early.

4: Provide sense of privacy and safety. Airbnb guests highly value privacy and safety of stay, as these are commonly guaranteed in hotels. So do provide them space that privacy and safety can be ensured.

5: Small surprise: Many of the small things in hotels are usually not expected in the Airbnb context; however, provision of some of these, such as drinks can be interpreted by Airbnb guests as a delight.

6:  Be flexible. Being flexible with check in and check out was highly appreciated by hosts. However, to ‘how frequent’ and ‘to what degree’ can ‘flexible arrangements’ be catered for others remains a hard line but do set up realistic expectation.

7: Friendly pets: In most hotels, guests are seldom to meet animals during their stay; however, in the Airbnb context, these is not uncommon and animals do play its bit, as guests generally comment on the friendliness of animals which reflects on a host’s hospitality but unfriendly animals can also negatively influence the overall experience of the guest.

More information, please contact me: or see our article below:

Cheng, M., & Jin, X. (2019). What do Airbnb users care about? An analysis of online review comments. International Journal of Hospitality Management76, 58-70.

Chinese Post-80s and adventure tourism: importance of safety indicators

Chinese Post-80s and adventure tourism: importance of safety indicators

Key points:

·        Guide’s experience is a perceived indicator of adventure tourism activities’ safety

·        Increasing number of Chinese Post-80s seek exotic experiences, such as adventure tourism

“I want to be crazy”, 27 year old Yuan Tian (hereinafter Yuan) told me after she did her first sky-diving in Wollongong, Australia. Yuan is not the only Chinese tourists who have sky-dived in Australia. She is among the fast growing Chinese Post-80s tourists, who are seeking off-the-beat destinations and keen to have exotic experiences.

This group is claimed to be the key driver of Chinese outbound tourism, accounting for roughly 56 percentage of this market. In Australia, 76% of independent Chinese tourists are from this group. However, there is still a simplified or naïve understanding of this group among the industry practitioners.

Research evidence shows that China has its own model of adventure tourism and this will influence how Chinese Post-80s approach their adventure tourism activities when travelling abroad. In addition, some of the adventure tourism activities might not be accessible to Chinese Post-80s when they are at home and indeed, they are regarded the first wave to explore them outside China. Thus, this raises the question as to how adventure tourism is consumed by these young Chinese tourists.

Picture: Yuan’s sky-diving experience in Wollongong, Australia.

When we go back to Yuan’s sky-diving experience, her response seems nothing different from her western counterpart. However, when I asked her further, Yuan told me she did not want to tell her parents about her sky-diving, because she did not want them to be “worried”. It becomes apparent that Yuan, like her peers, is struggling with something hidden. On one hand, they want to pursue what interests them – a true self; on the other hand, Chinese social norms (Xiao) still pull them back. There is a constant negotiation in their minds

Nevertheless, Yuan still did sky-diving despite her worries arising from social norms, so what actually made her to do so? In other words, how adventure tourism operators can facilitate Chinese Post-80s’ participation to avoid their worries. One important practical point from Yuan, which was also found in my PhD project on Chinese Post-80s tourists, is the emphasis of the guide’s experience (for example, the guide has 5 years of experience of sky-diving and has jumped with clients more than 1,000 times);

That is to say, when adventure tourism operators design their marketing promotional materials, it is equally important to include indicators that sky-diving is safe to play, while emphasizing the excitement and craziness of sky-diving.

*Special thanks to Dr Simone Faulkner for her penetrating comments on the earlier draft of this article.

If you have any question, please contact me at: or visit my personal website:

澳洲IPRS和 APA全奖申请经历(非理工科)[商学院]


Journal article






奖学金结果:International Postgraduate Research Scholarship和Australian Postgraduate Award(全奖)

我个人觉得不会看。在澳洲,论著的好坏根据出版社知名度的排名决定,期刊的类别也由知名度排名决定。澳洲商学院是按照abdc(Australian Business Dean List)的标准来排名的。

重要但不是决定的因素,除非你导师是research dean或者higher degree researcher coordinator。为什么呢?因为他们是奖学金评选委员会的成员。


Research proposal重要吗?
我认为重要。我之所以认为重要不是因为你的topic有多好,而是你的topic要能够在学校的research strength里面结合澳洲的本土情况,比如说可以帮助澳洲企业减少开支,等等。(比较适合文科)




会起决定作用。我觉得我能拿到奖学金主要是依靠我所发表的文章和我的research proposal符合我所申请大学的research strength的要求。

我当时申请了很多所院校,如:griffith,monash, south Australia,curtin。申请Curtin的时候,行政助理没有帮我提交材料,直到学校来追问我的资料,所以我就直接放弃了。其实我最想去的是griffith,但是griffith特别难获得奖学金,连半奖都没希望。所以,如果大家要想获得奖学金的话,可以多申请几家,而澳洲申请博士好像都不需要钱。Griffith没申请到,我觉得可能是我的research proposal不符合他们的research strength的要求。