Consumer behaviour and travel decision making of Chinese tourists

Case study background

Tourism is one of the key industry sectors of the Australian economy and attracting international tourists to Australia is one of the main tasks of Tourism Australia. While focussing on international tourists, tourism marketing experts need to understand the international consumer segment and what influences their decision-making when planning a holiday. Some of the key international tourism markets are the Americas, Europe, Greater China, Japan& South Korea, New Zealand, and South & South East Asia. Each of these markets has different consumer characteristics, interests, and behaviours, which fluence their travel decision-making.

China’s economic growth has increased domestic and international consumption of products and services. The Chinese consumer market is one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets (travelling from China). Since 2016, China has become Australia’s largest inbound travel market (travelling to Australia) and plays therefore an important role in growing the Australian tourism sector. Based on the changing economic condition in China and a changing Chinese consumer culture, the Chinese traveller profile to Australia has changed over the last 20 years. For example, while earlier Chinese travellers preferred group holidays, nowadays more and more independent travellers from China visit Australia. Understanding recent changes of travel behaviours and decision-making is therefore essential for tourism businesses.

S120 MKT201 Consumer Behaviour

Case study specifics

  • Please note, this case study requires you to complete 5 tasks/questions.
  • For tasks 1 and 2, you are provided with some reports and website sources and are not required to do additional research; however, you can use other credible sources if you have found some. If in doubt, ask your lecturer.
  • For questions 3 to 5, you are required to research at least 10 recent relevant academic journal articles. Meaning, your answers/discussion should predominantly be based on relevant academic research. You can also use the resources for task 1 and 2 but should not do additional search for alternative sources or use sources like websites or news articles. Again, focus is not academic research.
  • For question 5, you need to choose one specific customer segment, either group travel, independent travellers, or backpackers.
  • As a professional business report, you should have a title page, table of content, an introduction, the body with subsections according to the tasks/questions, a conclusion, a reference list, and can add appendices if needed. You are not required to add an executive summary. Sections should be numbered.

Case study tasks

For this assignment, research the Chinese tourist market in general and with a focus on Australia as a destination. Focus your research on the most recent data available from market research or consulting companies (some reports are provided below). This research enables you to develop an understanding of Chinese travel consumers with regards to who (key demographics), how many (key data), from where (main origin), to where (main destinations), for what purpose (main traveller types or segments), seeking what kind of experiences (main interests or motivations), and for how long (depending on purpose and experience). Research generally refers to different travel consumer segments and different sources may group tourist into different segments (e.g. group travel, free and independent traveller (FIT), luxury travel, business travel, backpackers, visiting friends and relatives (VFR), etc.). Support your discussion with visuals where appropriate.

  1. Provide an overview of the Chinese outbound tourist market (travelling internationally). (approx. 400 words)
  1. Provide an overview of the Chinese inbound tourist market (travelling to Australia). (approx. 400 words)

Besides researching Chinese tourism market data, revisit relevant teaching weeks and textbook chapters (listed below) and discuss aspects of what influences Chinese travellers in their travel decision process and how do they make their travel decisions. Based on your market research, you will have already identified some of these aspects in relation to Chinese tourists. You further need to research relevant academic journal articles (at least 10) on Chinese tourists and travel decision-making in order to support your discussion of the following questions.

  1. How do groups and interpersonal influences affect Chinese tourists’ travel decisions? (approx. 500 words)

Research and discuss aspects that are related to two of the following content areas discussed in the chapter on Group and Interpersonal Influences (week 7). Choose 2 only!

  • Reference groups and influences
  • Influences through social media
  • Word-of-mouth influences
  • Household decision making
  1. How do situational factors influence Chinese tourists’ travel decisions? (approx. 500 words)

Research and discuss aspects that are related to following content areas discussed in the chapter on Consumers in Situations (week 8).

  • Time aspects and (un)planned behaviour
  • Antecedent conditions
  1. How do Chinese tourists make their travel decisions when planning a holiday to Australia? (approx. 600 words)

Research and discuss aspects that are related to the consumer decision-making process as discussed in the two Decision Making chapters (week 9 and 10) and relevant to a specific travel consumer segment.

  • Please note, you do not need to discuss postchoice evaluation!
  • Focus your research and discussion on one of the following segments: group travel, independent travellers, or backpackers.
  • In your discussion, you should address their needs, where they search, what kind of information they use, and how they evaluate and select travel products.
  • Refer back to your discussion and findings of the previous questions as appropriate.

Relevant textbook chapters:

(please note, different textbook editions differ in chapter numbering; listed below is the relevant teaching week and chapter title)

Week 7: Group and Interpersonal Influences

Week 8: Consumers in Situations

Week 9: Decision Making 1: Need Recognition and Search

Week 10: Decision Making 2: Alternative Evaluation and Choice

Case resources and academic research

For your research and discussion, focus on recent resources from credible organisations (e.g. market research, industry bodies) for tasks 1 and 2, and recent relevant academic journal articles (at least

  • for questions 3 to 5. Conduct your research for academic journal articles via the library catalogue, library databases, and/or Google Scholar. Focus on quality and relevance when selecting sources for your report. News or general websites should not be used for this assignment.

Background on the Chinese consumer market

Reports on the Chinese outbound tourist market (page contains link to the report) 20and%20Consumption%20Trends.pdf

Research and data on visitors to Australia (especially Market & Stats section) (especially Data & Research section)