Does panda diplomacy promote Chinese outbound tourism flows?

Luke Emeka Okafor, Chee Meng Tan, Usman Khalid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines whether panda diplomacy promotes Chinese outbound tourism flows. A gravity model of tourism outflows from China to 137 destination countries over the 1995–2018 period is used for the empirical analysis. The results indicate that destination countries that host pandas from China attract a substantial number of Chinese tourists compared to those that do not. This effect persists over time and is stronger in later years, particularly after three years of hosting pandas. The findings of this study suggest that destination countries that host pandas can enhance their international tourism attractiveness for tourists from China. This improvement can be realized by incorporating panda-themed international marketing campaigns, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Gravity model
  • International tourism attractiveness
  • Panda diplomacy
  • Tourism flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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