Resident perceptions of Chinese tourists in Thailand
Songshan (Sam) Huang
ORCID : 0000-0003-4990-2788
School of Business and Law
National Social Science Foundation of China Sichuan Province Science and Technology Plan Project Sichuan University
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Thailand has served as a major outbound tourist destination for Chinese tourists for decades. Behaviours demonstrated by Chinese tourists in Thailand are believed to have created an image of Chinese outbound tourists among the residents and have impacted on the sustainability of Thai tourism. This study aims to contribute a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the image of Chinese outbound tourists from the perspective of Thai residents’. Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 Thai residents who have frequent contact with Chinese tourists. Findings: The results reveal that Thai residents’ perceptions of Chinese tourists include both positive and negative images. Positive images consist of being filial and friendly (e.g. taking good care of the elderly and having close emotional ties within their touring group) and being wealthy and auspicious (e.g. having a lot of money to spend and tipping generously). Negative images include moral norms (e.g. making loud noises and jumping into a queue), hygiene habits (e.g. littering and spitting) and religious culture (e.g. touching and climbing Buddha statues). Originality/value: This qualitative research promotes the study of destination residents’ perceptions of tourists’ in the context of outbound tourism and enriches the application of social representation theory from the perspective of residents in the field of tourism marketing. It generates a more nuanced comprehension of Thai residents’ perceptions of Chinese tourists, contributes to the government’s formulation of guidelines for civilised tourism and has benefits to the sustainable development of tourism destinations.