Author Bios (50 Words)

Xing Han, is a doctoral student at Otaru University of Commerce, Japan. She has educational backgrounds in tourism and hospitality management. She has experience in technical service for vocational tourism education. Her recent research interests focus on the social aspects of tourist experience and value co-creation in tourism.

Carolus Praet is Professor of Marketing at Otaru University of Commerce, Japan His research focuses on inbound tourism, cross-cultural tourism behavior, and social interaction and co-creation in tourism.

Abstract (150 Words)

With the ever-increasing number of tourists worldwide, tourists’ experiences typically involve social interactions with various social actors. Previous studies on social interactions in tourism primarily focus on the western tourists in western destinations, and have neglected East-Asian tourists and destinations. This study addresses this gap by focusing on the important source market of Chinese outbound tourists visiting Japan. Using the grounded theory method, we uncover three types of social interactions: protocol-oriented interaction, help-related interaction, and sociable interaction. We also report on factors influencing the occurrence of tourist direct social interactions and on the Chinese outbound tourist motivation and hesitation towards social interaction with others. We then discuss managerial implications for destination marketing and suggest avenues for further research.

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The role of social interaction in the tourism experience of Chinese visitors to Japan: A grounded theory approach

With the ever-increasing number of tourists worldwide, tourists’ experiences typically involve social interactions with various social actors. Previous studies on social interactions in tourism primarily focus on the western tourists in western destinations, and have neglected East-Asian tourists and destinations. This study addresses this gap by focusing on the important source market of Chinese outbound tourists visiting Japan. Using the grounded theory method, we uncover three types of social interactions: protocol-oriented interaction, help-related interaction, and sociable interaction. We also report on factors influencing the occurrence of tourist direct social interactions and on the Chinese outbound tourist motivation and hesitation towards social interaction with others. We then discuss managerial implications for destination marketing and suggest avenues for further research.