The Impact of Approved Destination Status on Chinese Travel Abroad: An Economic Analysis
Since the early 1990s China’s government has negotiated Approved Destination Status (ADS) with 120 countries. The agreements allow government-approved travel agencies to market group tours and obtain visas in bulk to ADS destinations. We apply a gravity model framework to analyze how ADS has affected Chinese outbound tourist travel from China using Chinese visitor arrivals data from 61 main foreign destinations of mainland Chinese tourists (which account for vast majority of international departures from China) from 1995 to 2005. Fixed effects estimates indicate ADS resulted in significant increases in arrivals from China (averaging 52 percent over three years). We also find evidence of travel diversion as more countries received ADS.
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