Understanding Chinese tourists’ food consumption in the United States

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Chinese tourism is a booming market that various international tourism destinations want to attract. Although Chinese tourists have an enormous economic impact on the restaurant industry, they seem to consume only Chinese cuisine during their international trips. This study applies the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and uses the PLS-SEM method to evaluate different factors that influence Chinese tourists’ consumption behavior toward local food in the United States. The results of this study show that the concerns for food safety (negatively) and table manners could aggravate Chinese tourists’ attitudes toward consuming unfamiliar local food. However, communication and the food's sensory appeal are not significant in predicting their attitudes toward local food. A multigroup analysis also shows that food neophobia, a food-related personality trait, moderates Chinese tourists’ decisions in regard to consuming local food. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.