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Title:Travel experience and everyday life experience in the mobilities paradigm
Author(s):Li, Qian
Director of Research:Huang, Zhuowei
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Huang, Zhuowei
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Green, Christine; Santos, Carla A.; Kwan, Mei-Po
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Travel experience, Mobilities, Major life domains
Abstract:In today’s fast-moving and highly inter-connected world, tourism activities and experiences are closely bound up with people’s everyday life. The purpose of this study is to explore the complex relationship and interactions between travel experience and everyday life experience through the lens of mobilities theory. By grounding the theoretical discussions of mobilities paradigm in practice, this study was set in the context of Chinese tourists traveling to the heartland of the United States. Specifically, by adopting mixed methods approach, this research studied how tourists make sense of their travel experience, identified the linkages between travel experience and major life domains, and examined the influence of travel experience on attitudes toward major life domains. First, this study interviewed with 19 Chinese tourists who traveled to the Route 66 and revealed four important aspects of travel experience: gaining knowledge about American culture and history, enjoying nature-based scenery, understanding local’s everyday life, and interacting with local people. Second, an open-ended questionnaire survey with 50 Chinese participants revealed six major life domains including economic, environment, health, family & social, leisure, and social system. By comparing interview findings and survey results, three key linkages were identified between travel experience and major life domains: environment, education, and social. Third, based upon the key linkages identified, an open-ended questionnaire survey was developed and conducted among 323 Chinese tourists who traveled to the United States to explore the impacts of travel experience on the attitude change regarding the three aspects: environmental, educational and social. The results indicate that travel experience is significantly correlated to tourist’s attitude change toward these three aspects. By applying the K-means algorithm, the tourists were clustered into two groups based upon their attitude change after the trip. 1) Positive attitude changes in all three dimensions; 2) Little change in environmental aspect, negative attitude changes in educational and social aspects. The findings indicate that different travel experience may have different effects on tourists’ attitude change regarding the three life domains. This study furthers our understanding of how travel experience relates to and resonates with people’s everyday life. It contributes to our understanding of the complex interaction process between travel experience and everyday life in the context of cross-cultural tourism. The findings of the study further our understanding of the significance and inseparability of linkages between travel experience and everyday life experience and provide practical insights to tourism marketers, managers and planners who are interested in the burgeoning market niche of Chinese tourists to the heartland of the United States.
Issue Date:2019-03-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Qian Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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