Understanding the mechanism behind the zero-commission Chinese outbound package tours: Evidence from case studies

Hanqin Qiu, York Qi Yan, Yiping Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This study attempts to demystify the mechanism behind the negative event of the so-called "zero-commission" tours that have become synonymous with the booming Chinese outbound tourism in the past decade. Design/methodology/approach - Utilizing the Atlas.ti computer qualitative analysis software, nine proposed key factors constituting the zero-tour phenomenon are examined and proven through a content analysis of 30 case studies. Findings - The validity of the proposed nine factors causing the zero-tour and their respective degrees of relevance to the phenomenon are also investigated and empirically tested in the study. Research limitations/implications - The study used the cases from destinations such as Hong Kong and Thailand. It will be better if cases from other destinations such as Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and Australia can be examined in future studies since the zero-tour phenomenon also exists in other countries. Practical implications - This study may serve as a reference for the drafting and implementation of both policy and business countermeasures to curb the zero-commission tours. Consequently, this would facilitate more positive contributions of the Chinese outbound tourism industry to global tourism development. Originality/value - No empirical study on the zero-tour phenomenon was found in the literature. Based on the game theory, the proposed and empirically tested nine factors can serve as the foundation on which future studies on the zero-commission tour can be conducted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-751
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • China
  • International travel
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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