Very little research has been conducted on the mature market (50+ years) with respect to travel. However, the size and economic spending power of this group makes it a significant force in the travel marketplace. The purpose of this article is to profile portions of the mature market predisposed to travel to the People's Republic of China and analyze Before/After touristic images the groups held of the country. Some notable findings were 1) the individuals profiled in this study were frequent international travelers with over one-third traveling internationally three or more times a year, 2) they preferred traveling in family groups, 3) friends and relatives were the most commonly utilized sources for international travel information but the external search process also included other business provided sources, 4) Historical attractions followed closely by a category described as People had the highest attractiveness ratings although there was some evidence to suggest that expectations exceeded reality as most of the attributes contained in the Historical and People categories had lower attractiveness scores for the After visitation group than for the Before visitation group, 5) five of the ten service attributes were rated significantly higher by the After visitation group than for the Before visitation group.

The study raises many questions about the mature market and their travel behavior. The need for further research is quite evident to more fully understand this significant group of travelers.