Chinese cultural values and tourists visiting volatile destinations
The COVID-19 pandemic has become the global tourism industry’s greatest challenge since modern times and China’s reform and opening up. The World Tourism Organization has projected that this pandemic could reduce international arrivals by 60–80% in 2020.
Arrivals had already fallen by 22% in the first quarter of the year, with Asia and Europe witnessing the worst declines as of May 7, 2020. As the world’s largest source of outbound tourists, China plays an important role in tourism industry recovery. This report presents a review of three articles on outbound tourism in China, published in 2019 by the team of Dr. Jun Wen, Professor Songshan (Sam) Huang, and Associate Professor Tianyu Ying. Drawing upon principles from traditional Chinese culture, suggestions are offered for tourism marketing and recovery in destinations featuring high security risks.
Paper 1: “Chinese Tourists Visiting Volatile Destinations: Integrating Cultural Values into Motivation-based Segmentation”
This study applied an improved segmentation approach by integrating Chinese cultural values into a motivation-based method to segment Chinese tourists visiting Israel as a highly volatile destination. Four market segments— mass tourists, adventure-driven mass tourists, enthusiastic tourists, and sightseeing and horizon-enhancing tourists—were distinguished by demographic characteristics. The results show that the three Chinese cultural value dimensions— traditional personal values, life enrichment and quality, and modern personal values—provide insights to better understand these market segments. Mass tourists and adventure-driven mass tourists each had relatively high traditional personal values and life enrichment and quality values but a moderate level of modern personal values. Enthusiastic tourists ranked high on all three value dimensions, whereas sightseeing and horizon-enhancing tourists ranked traditional
personal values and life enrichment and quality much higher than modern personal values. This study advances an understanding of Chinese tourists as an emerging market in highly volatile destinations. Industry implications are also discussed. Paper 2: “Chinese tourists’ motivations of visiting a highly volatile destination: a means-end approach”
This study examines Chinese outbound tourists’ motivations of visiting Israel, as a highly volatile destination. Employing means-end theory and its associated laddering technique, the study identified 6 means-end patterns (including 14 dominant means-end chains) to illustrate tourists’ motivations at three levels of attributes, consequences, and values. Prominent destination attributes that motivated Chinese tourists to visit Israel include the local people (Jews), local culture, history, well-known places, religions, and geographical location, which converge on three end values of life enrichment, self-esteem and achievement. The study contributes to the motivation literature by clarifying Chinese tourist motivations of visiting a highly volatile destination in a means-end value chain structure. Destination marketing implications are provided based on the findings.
Paper 3: “Relationships between Chinese cultural values and tourist motivations: A study of Chinese tourists visiting Israel”
This study examines the relationships between Chinese cultural values and Chinese tourist motivations when visiting Israel as an emerging destination. Using two rounds of questionnaire surveys supplemented by in-depth interviews, the study identified seven major motivations for Chinese tourists to visit Israel: knowledge enhancement/ learning, business development,
sightseeing, self-fulfillment, escape/relaxation, destination uniqueness, and adventure. Business development was a unique motivation factor in this study context. Chinese cultural values underlying tourists’ visits to Israel comprised three categories: life enrichment and quality, traditional personal values, and modern personal values. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that all motivations except
destination uniqueness were correlated with the three cultural values; specifically, business development and self-fulfillment were more
associated with modern personal values, while sightseeing was correlated to life enrichment and quality. This study provides empirical evidence on the relationships between cultural values and travel motivations in a Chinese context. Practical
implications are discussed. While pandemic prevention and control are becoming more common, it is necessary to consider travelers’ psychology, expectations, and behavior to ensure efficient recovery of the tourism market. This series of articles provides an analytical perspective on potential facilitators and inhibitors of post-pandemic tourism. The authors’ suggestions can also promote tourism recovery and development in highly volatile regions.
Professor Songshan (Sam) Huang is a research professor and doctoral supervisor in the school of business and law, Edith Cowan University. Professor Huang is a prolific author in the field of international tourism. He has published more than 70 articles in international
academic journals, three monographs, and numerous conference papers and book chapters. About 75% of his articles are published in high-level SSCI journals. Professor Huang is a co-founding member of the International Association for China Tourism Studies, the founder of the Australia-China tourism forum and the Australia-China Tourism Research Collaboration Center. He is a member of several international journals review committees and a reviewer of major international tourism journals. Dr Jun Wen is a lecturer in tourism and services marketing in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, Australia. His current research interests lie in Chinese outbound tourism marketing, behaviors, and other related aspects.
Dr Tianyu Ying is currently the head of the department of tourism and hotel management, Zhejiang University. Since 2006, Dr. Ying has
been engaged in research on tourist behavior, destination marketing, and sustainable tourism development and management. He has published papers in leading international tourism academic journals, including Tourism Management, Journal of Travel Research, and Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Over the past decade, Dr. Ying has led or participated in research and consulting projects related to tourism in the United States, China, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Argentina. Xinyi Liu is currently a master’s student in the School of Tourism at Sichuan University, China. Her current research interests lie in Chinese tourist behavior and outbound tourism
Wen, J., & Huang, S. (2019). Chinese tourists visiting volatile destinations: Integrating cultural values into motivation-based segmentation.
Journal of China Tourism Research, 15(4), 520-540. https://doi.org/10.1080/19388160.2019.1589610
Wen, J., & Huang, S. (2020). Chinese tourists’ motivations of visiting a highly volatile destination: a means-end approach. Tourism
Recreation Research, 45(1), 80-93. https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2019.1637078
Wen, J., Huang, S. S., & Ying, T. (2019). Relationships between Chinese cultural values and tourist motivations: A study of Chinese tourists visiting Israel. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 14, 100367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2019.100367