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Chinese travellers to the United States: a comparison of business travel and visiting friends and relatives

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This study analyses the socio-demographic, trip-related characteristics and travel behaviours of the Chinese outbound tourists to the US, focusing on comparing business travels and visiting friends and relatives (VFR). It reviews and discusses the changes in China's policy on outbound tourism since the early 1990s. The sample of 206 Chinese travellers to the US was drawn from the 1997 In-Flight Survey of International Air Traveler. The main findings indicate that both business and VFR travellers were predominantly male in their middle age. Significant differences were found between the two groups in age, gender, occupation, size of travel party, travel companion, length of stay, making hotel reservation before departure, travel expenditure per person, and airline reservation patterns. Followed by dining in restaurants and sightseeing in cities, shopping was a dominant activity enjoyed by both travellers. The findings may be useful to US destination marketers targeting the emerging Chinese outbound travel market.
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Keywords: Chinese outbound travellers; VFRs; business travel; leisure activity; travel behaviour

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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