Author: Joergensen, Matias Thuen
Title: Chinese tourism to Scandinavia : understanding tourism distribution
Advisors: Law, Rob (SHTM)
King, Brian (SHTM)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Tourism -- China
Travelers -- China
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: x, 405 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: This thesis adopts a novel qualitative approach that provides a deeper understanding of the tourism distribution phenomenon and of China outbound tourism to Scandinavia. Gaps in existing knowledge have been revealed through an extensive review of the literature on tourism distribution and on China outbound tourism. The reviews show that there has been little research, which provides deep understandings of the distribution process for China outbound tourists. Most studies of China outbound tourism focused on tourists in isolation and deployed quantitative methods to understand discrete elements such as motivations or image. These studies often ignored actors other than the tourists themselves and did not consider other influencing relationships and factors. This thesis questions such approaches and proposes that tourism distribution is also affected by enactments, relations and factors, which have little to do with what the individual tourist wants or thinks (s)he wants. Most of the research on tourism distribution has approached the subject through the concept of distribution channels. This perspective has important implications and limitations. This thesis suggests that the 'channel approach' represents one enactment of tourism distribution, which is inadequate when considered in isolation, if the goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon under investigation. It is argued here that such approaches interpret tourism distribution as a static and linear process, often ignoring important contextual aspects and lacking a clear object of analysis.
This thesis presents an alternative enactment of tourism distribution as a supplement to current understandings, and develops an applicable approach and framework for analysis. The approach and framework is developed through a (critical) pragmatic integration of elements that have been drawn from Activity Theory and Actor-Network Theory. The tourism distribution phenomenon is interpreted as a dynamic relational process of mediation, which occurs in networks of activity systems, rather than as a linear process of economic exchange. The proposed approach and framework are used to analyse 52 in-depth interviews with respondents who included Chinese tourists, Chinese intermediaries and Scandinavian suppliers. This analysis results in empirical insights on Chinese tourism to Scandinavia as a phenomenon. More specifically, it provides deep insights into the enactments, relations, actors, practices and factors that shape the distribution network in Chinese tourism to Scandinavia. Based on these findings, conceptual tools are developed that will provide practitioners and researchers with the capacity to characterise specific types of Chinese tourists and understand the various factors that affect them. The thesis contributes to scholarship through its development and application of a new approach and framework to analyse the phenomenon of tourism distribution. It also contributes concrete empirical insights and tools that may be applicable to practitioners dealing with Chinese tourism to Scandinavia specifically, and to researchers interested in tourism distribution or China outbound tourism in general.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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