Chinese student travel market to Australia: An exploratory assessment of destination perceptions
Chinese students form the largest international student travel market for Australia and approximately a quarter of Australia's international student enrollments are mainland Chinese. Despite the significance of the market, little is known about Chinese student travelers. This study offers an exploratory assessment of the perceived image of Australia in the Chinese student market. Through a self-completion questionnaire, data regarding the pre- and post-arrival perceptions of Australia were collected from Chinese students on the Gold Coast. The study identified natural scenery/attractions and agreeable environment/climate as the strengths of Australia. Historical attractions and shopping related opportunities were the weaknesses of Australia as a tourist destination. A factor analysis was performed on both pre- and post-arrival perception data. Different structural patterns emerged from the two sets of data suggesting a modification effect of actual experience on the destination perception. The results also suggest that destination marketers should emphasize the general environment in Australia when marketing to the Chinese student market.
International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration