Mobility, social capital, and early-stage tourism development

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Mobility, social capital, and early-stage tourism development

 

Author: Zhou, Lingxu
Title: Mobility, social capital, and early-stage tourism development
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2015
Subject: Emigration and immigration.
Tourism.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xviii, 446 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2828524
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8273
Abstract: The world is constantly on the move. Human mobility has long been a subject of social science since the colonization era until the upsurge of urbanization and globalization. People have become refugees, sojourners, migrants, tourists, and commuters in the age of increasing globalization,glocalization, and counter-urbanization. When tourism and migration are both examined as forms of mobility, a contextual perspective is adopted. This study establishes the connection between these two concepts. Destinations often lack human, social, and economic capital in early-stage tourism development. In an era of highly increased corporeal mobility, the manner in which inward migration to certain destinations influences tourism development and the overall progress of a destination should be investigated. Set in a remote county in inland rural China, where domestic tourism migrants are drawn from development opportunities driven by tourism industries,this study contextually addresses the issue. Specifically, this study investigates the phenomenon of tourism supply-induced mobility in an early-stage tourist destination in China, and identifies the experiences,expectations, and prospects of domestic tourism migrants as well as those of local communities. The relationship between tourism and migration is considered a causal one in this study, as permanent or temporary human mobility is viewed as an end result of tourism development. Furthermore,social capital broadly refers to the socio-cultural and political aspects of an individual and a community that are indispensable to personal and collective progression. The concept is categorized as a personal social network, institutional support, and community openness in this study. An initial conceptual framework was built on the literature review and research questions. The conceptual framework was subsequently revised and consolidated based on the findings of this study. Qualitative methods were utilized to collect and analyze data.In the analysis, the study follows a constructivist and relational paradigm, as well as integrates approaches in phenomenology and narrative inquiry for data analysis and interpretation. Results of this study present the experiences of entrepreneurial migrants and migrant employees in tourism in terms of decision making and managing various relationships,challenges, and future prospects. From the standpoint of tourism projects and community-based tourism development, results are provided in relation to the experiences of tourism actors and social capital. We conclude that early-stage destinations need to attract, select, and sustain human capital.Social capital has a vital role in this process. We also establish the relationship between mobility and social networks. This study contributes to the theoretical development of integrating social capital in tourism research, as well as connecting tourism research with the mobilities paradigm. Practically,this study provides policy and planning suggestions to tourism development and rural development in China. Future studies need to quantify the dimensions of tourism development, social capital, and mobility to generalize and operationalize the results. Situations in non-Chinese,particularly Western, contexts need to be further examined for comparison.

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