Chinese Outbound Tourism: Leisure or Political Tool?


How did Chinese tourism grow from almost non-existent to being the largest outbound travel source market in the world over a couple of decades? Is the word “weaponization” a fair description of how Beijing uses tourism strategically in their foreign policy? And will the Chinese tourists ever travel internationally again after several years of pandemic? In this episode, Philip Kyhl is joined by Dr. Matias Thuen Jørgensen to discuss his and co-author Anders Ellemann Kristensen’s contribution to the recently published book Chinese Outbound Tourist Behaviour (Routledge, 2022). The chapter explores the evolution of the Chinese outbound tourism industry, the behaviour of Chinese tourists abroad and how the industry is continuously affected by regulations and policy-making.

Dr. Matias Thuen Jørgensen is Associate Professor and head of the Centre for Tourism Research ( at Roskilde University, Denmark. Matias aims to publish research that introduces novel conceptual and theoretical ideas and perspectives, but also resonate in practice. His research interests include tourism development, distribution, sustainability, entrepreneurship and experience. Empirically, his work has focused on the Chinese market and destinations in the Nordics. His work has been published in journals such as Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, Tourist Studies and International Journal of Tourism Research.

You can contact Matias directly for a free copy of the specific chapter in the book on

Philip Kyhl is the assistant Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen. Philip has worked with Chinese Outbound tourism for more than a decade and experienced the rise and development of the Chinese tourism industry from several years living and working in China and later as an advisor for European companies.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

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