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Study participants did not seem to prioritize much in choosing overseas countries which are friendly and supportive to China.

Beaches, scenic tourist cities and natural and cultural world heritage sites are the top three post-pandemic destinations for Chinese consumers, a Griffith University-led study has found.

“Chinese consumers want destinations offering comfort and escape,” says lead author Dr Xin Jin from Griffith Business School.

“Our study suggests Chinese consumers will combine their recreational desires with health and safety concerns, ranking destinations like beaches, which also have more space for social distancing, higher than crowded destinations like theme parks.”

The study found higher-income earners were also more likely to travel than lower-income earners, rating their preference for overseas destinations significantly higher than all other groups. However, lower-income groups (earning less than USD 7000 and USD 7000-14,000 per year) were the most likely to take up package tour deals.

“Buying power is especially strong among those earning over USD 14,000 and above, as they own property with either a small mortgage or no mortgage, giving them more discretionary income,” Dr Jin said.

“The study shows there is a sizable and stable segment of mainland Chinese tourists and they are the main source market for a post-pandemic rebound in domestic and outbound travel, so it is important to understand their motivations and concerns.

Australia-China relations: no major effect on tourism found

Study participants were also asked whether they would prioritise choosing overseas countries friendly and supportive to China during the pandemic but Dr Jin said the results showed this would not be a significant factor in choosing a destination.

“Australia’s strained political relationship with China shouldn’t be a major factor in outbound tourism, but the survey was done in March 2020 before relations deteriorated.”

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