Red Tourism and National Identity among the Chinese Middle Cl ...

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  • Title: Red Tourism and National Identity among the Chinese Middle Class during the Pandemic: An Investigation Based on Semi-structured Interviews
  • Author(s): Abigail Qian Zhou
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Tourism and Leisure Studies
  • Journal Title: Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies
  • Keywords: Chinese Middle Class, Red Travel, Motivation, Experience, National Identity
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: August 04, 2023
  • ISSN: 2470-9336 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9344 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2470-9336/CGP/v08i01/1-17
  • Citation: Zhou, Abigail Qian. 2023. "Red Tourism and National Identity among the Chinese Middle Class during the Pandemic: An Investigation Based on Semi-structured Interviews." Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies 8 (1): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2470-9336/CGP/v08i01/1-17.
  • Extent: 17 pages

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Abstract

Since 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has shocked and impacted the global tourism industry. In China, outbound travel completely halted and domestic travel dominated the travel market. To control the spread of the virus, address complex international circumstances, and enhance national identity and social cohesion, the Chinese government promoted domestic red tourism. The Chinese middle class, who preferred traveling abroad before the pandemic, became the main force for red tourism. Through semi-structured interviews, this study investigates red tourism and the national identity of the Chinese middle class during the pandemic. The results show that the interviewees’ motivations to engage in red tourism were to increase knowledge, experience life, enjoy leisure and recreation activities, and partake in interpersonal communication. They were most impressed by the physical landscapes, symbols, and physical practices they experienced, and many of these experiences were mediated by the means of virtual reality. Red tourism helped create a common historical memory, national pride, and political party identity and enhanced the participants’ sense of well-being, strengthening their national identity. The findings provide a new perspective for examining the national identity of the Chinese middle class and contribute empirical evidence from China to the study of the relationship between tourism and national identity after the pandemic.