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Title: Understanding Chinese travellers' travel experiences in the UK : a critical analysis of an online community
Author: Liu, Chun
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 2783
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2013
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This study seeks to deepen our understanding of Chinese travellers’ travel experience and the meanings they derived from their holiday in the UK by critically analysing the largest online travel community in China, namely This is an online community created by travellers themselves, hence the traveller-generated content are rich. Despite the growing importance of Chinese outbound travel market, a qualitative understanding of what it is like to be a Chinese traveller in the UK is still an under-researched area. In addition, with the advancement of Internet technology and the emergence of online communities, our social world has been increasingly influenced by online communities. Using the literature on experiential theory, tourism studies and online cultures, this study offers a qualitative understanding of this phenomenon. This study adopts ethnography to research Chinese travellers’ travel experience in the UK. The main data collection is based on a non-participant netnography in a chosen website It is found that their travel experiences are very diverse. They prefer independent and immersive travel experience. They are interested in knowing about the UK culture, history and how the locals live their lives. They are experience-seekers whose experiences are dotted with moments of imaginative states, emotional responses and culturally rooted meanings. In total, the findings of the study identified five main themes, namely language and self-identity, experience of holiday time, experience of holiday space, bodily feelings and emotions. A key contribution to new knowledge is the offering of rich qualitative insights and a theoretical framework for understanding Chinese travellers’ travel experience in the UK, which can be generalised in future studies. Such qualitative insights can not only be of great value to those designing marketing communication and memorable experiences and precipitates effective tourism management but also useful for academic studies seeking to understand the differences between the behaviour and experiences of travellers from different cultures. As well as their experience of travelling in local tour groups, this study especially offers rich insights about what it is like to be a non-all-inclusive package tourist travelling from developing countries to developed countries. Moreover, this study adds understanding about the experience of holiday time, which is a relatively under-discussed area in the literature. The experience of poetic space and the active aesthetic experience of highest absorption also add new lights to existing tourism literature. Further, this study address the influence of online community plays on Chinese travellers’ self-identities and language, experience of holiday time, holiday space and bodily emotions, which is seldom touched upon. On top of that, the methodology of this study also enriches the newly emerged literature on online qualitative methods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available