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Title: National myths and tourism marketing in postcolonial Chinese destinations
Author: Zhang, Xiaoyue
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 208X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores national myths and tourism marketing in the postcolonial Chinese context, linking nation and nationalism studies with tourism studies. The symbolic foundation of a nation, its national myths and imagined common experiences has been challenged seriously by the increasing idea of heterogeneity, woven with fragmented, ambiguous and paradoxical discourses (Anderson 1991, Bouchard 2013, Foucault 1972, Özkirimli 2010). At the same time, tourism is increasingly recognised as a broader term related to social, cultural, political and historical understandings. In this sense, there is much more to tourism marketing than simply promoting a destination, as it has a “nationmaking” function. In this context, the thesis explores postmodern understandings of nation and examines how tourism transgresses boundaries. In particular, it discusses the symbiotic relationship between national myth-making and tourism marketing in the postcolonial Chinese destinations of Hong Kong and Macau. Both destinations are now Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, following the handovers in the 1990s. This study analyses how their destination marketing in the subsequent years has discursively formed two unique imagined identities, based on their heritage and culture, different from and separate to China. The fieldwork for this qualitative inquiry was undertaken from August 2014 to February 2015 in Hong Kong and Macau. It combines semiotic discourse analysis of digital and print tourism promotional materials (in Chinese and English) with in-depth interviews with tourism stakeholders and cultural experts, in order to provide insights into different symbolic representations and their underlying power dynamics. The study demonstrates how Hong Kong discursively forms and enforces its national myths through demarking Chinese symbols. It also shows how Macau’s dependence on its more powerful neighbours of Hong Kong and China has determined its national myth of being “in-between”, defined in relation to China and Hong Kong. This study therefore contributes to conceptualisations of national myths and tourism marketing and suggests that tourism marketing not only reflects but plays a major role in nation-making processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available