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Performing love, prosperity and Chinese hipsterism: Young independent travellers in Pai, Thailand

Kimber, Simon, Yang, Jingjing and Cohen, Scott (2019) Performing love, prosperity and Chinese hipsterism: Young independent travellers in Pai, Thailand Tourist Studies, 19 (2). pp. 164-191.

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Young independent Chinese travellers are increasingly visiting Pai, a small town in northern Thailand, in part influenced by the popularity of the 2009 Thai movie ‘Pai in Love’. Using a performance perspective, combined with theory on affordances, which have not not yet been applied in the growing body of research on Chinese tourists, this paper examines the wide variety of performances in Pai by young independent Chinese travellers, many of which revolve around tourist photography. Drawing upon participant observation and in-depth interviews with Chinese travellers in Pai, the findings reveal that many young Chinese independent traveller performances in Pai revolve around the creation of online self-identities of prosperity and globalisation, love and alternative social identities such as Chinese hipsterism or Xiao Qing Xin. Central to many of these hybrid performances is the digital camera, which affords new, more playful, embodied ways of encountering and interacting with tourist attractions, whilst simultaneously offering a means of recording and refining performances which are then distributed via the ‘statusphere’. The paper’s use of a performance lens provides new insights into Chinese tourism consumption, and highlights the importance of physical, material and social affordances in performing tourism.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Authors :
Date : 14 March 2019
DOI : 10.1177/1468797619833367
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2019.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Performance turn, Affordances, Young Chinese independent travellers, Social capital, Digital photography, Thailand
Depositing User : Users 6648 not found.
Date Deposited : 05 Mar 2019 10:06
Last Modified : 15 Mar 2020 02:08

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