This study explores the outbound travel behaviour of middle-class Chinese, based on in-depth interviews at travel agencies and Chinese government institutions, to gain an understanding of outbound travel preferences. The results indicate that the size of China's middle-class outbound business travel segment has remained relatively unchanged while increased purchasing power has enabled well-educated, highincome workers aged 20-35 to enter the market for leisure travel. A noticeable shift in consumer preference is observed in flows from Western European to Eastern European destinations that joined the Schengen Agreement and from Southeast Asian to East Asian destinations, while immigration requirements constrain flows to the USA. The paper provides a framework for a systematic review to assess the average disposable income growth of China's middle class in relation to Chinese outbound tourist flows relevant for researchers, tourism and hospitality decision makers.

China, Middle-class tourism, Outbound travel, Travel marketing
dx.doi.org/10.5367/te.2013.0202, hdl.handle.net/1765/40296
Tourism Economics
Erasmus School of Economics

Zeng, G, & Go, F.M. (2013). Evolution of middle-class Chinese outbound travel preferences: An international perspective. In Tourism Economics (Vol. 19, pp. 231–243). doi:10.5367/te.2013.0202