|The impact of Covid-19 on emotional travel experience : an investigation among Chinese outbound tourists
|Tung, Vincent (SHTM)
|Tourists -- China
Tourism -- Psychological aspects
COVID-19 (Disease) -- Psychological aspects
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|School of Hotel and Tourism Management
|ix, 263 pages : color illustrations
|With the evolvement of experience economy in global tourism markets, providing memorable and positive travel experiences has been acknowledged to be critical factor for destination success. Tourists’ emotions play important role in forming memorable tourism experience; nevertheless, tourists’ emotions are emerged in travel stages and occasions and then are transformed into individual significance and meaningfulness towards the totality of travel experiences. This study takes a holistic investigation under the pandemic situations to generate understanding of individual tourists’ experience from emotion facets. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has caused profound impact on cross-boundary tourism markets since 2020. Under the impact of COVID-19 pandemic situations, little is known about what the emotional travel experiences (ETE) are, how and why they emerge and evolve, and what meanings and significance of those emotional experiences are towards individual tourists.
Through emotion lens in travel experience during the pandemic period, the contributions of this study have several folds：First, the study explores a holistic structure to reveal multi-facets of emotional experience among Chinese outbound tourists and their associations under the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The ETE structure is emerged as emotion base layer, content layer, navigating strategy layer, and outcomes layer. Second, this study provides holistic results on ETE, in which the mechanism and dynamic nature of ETE are investigated. The study results go beyond binary ground into malleability and complexity of tourists’ emotion to reveal that environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal dimensions come to shape the uniqueness of emotional travel experience among Chinese outbound tourists. Third, the results of this study also contribute knowledge on an emerging tourism research theme: positive tourism. Through exploring emotional navigating strategies and its cross-level elements in ETE, this study demonstrates meaningfulness and significance in emotional travel experience and shed light on tourists’ emotional well-being in positive tourism.
Practically, this study provides a roadmap for DMOs to re-examine from supply side on how elements of ETE are shaped and involved. DMOs can extend its functions and design appropriate program to assist tourists in navigating their emotions in necessary, which facilitate tourists’ emotional well-being and overall well-being. The results of the study also stress the cooperating and integrated functions among destination service sectors and departments. In addition, travel service should capture the priority needs, wants, and desires of Chinese outbound tourists since those are critical drivers in eliciting and shaping quality of ETE.
Future study can adopt the results to test the unique and common features of ETE among extended travel groups in more diversified market segments and can further quantitatively examine multiple-level factors’ relationships in the ETE structure derived from this study.
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