“Performing tourism: Chinese outbound organized mass tourists on
their travels through German tourism stages”
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Research Abstract: "Performing tourism: Chinese outbound organized mass tourists on their travels through German tourism stages"

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Abstract of my doctoral research - Stand: 2013

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Research Abstract: "Performing tourism: Chinese outbound organized mass tourists on their travels through German tourism stages"

  1. 1. “Performing tourism: Chinese outbound organized mass tourists on their travels through German tourism stages” Research Project Tourism studies have understood tourism as a “western” phenomenon, which tended to neglect the presence of “non-Western” tourists and to over-generalise the application and universality of their theories. By now, tourism is a global phenomenon with growing numbers of “emergent tourists”, especially from China. The number of Chinese outbound tourists has been growing steadily in the past decade and, by 2013, has become the number one source market worldwide, both in terms of boarder- crossings and expenditure. However, its quantitative importance, the touristic performances of this source market, and especially the organized mass tourists in “western” tourism stages have not yet been extensively researched. This research project draws on the dramaturgical metaphor of performance developed by Erving Goffman (1959), as well as the performance process as theorized by Richard Schechner (2002) in his writings on Performance Studies to investigate how Chinese outbound organized mass tourists perform tourism on German stages. The discussion focuses on three elements. Firstly, I examine the casting and preparation of the performers. Secondly, I explore the performances on German tourist stages, in respect to roles learned and also highlighting the possibility of improvised performances. Lastly, I observe the setting of the stages in regard to allowed choreographies, stage direction and power relations between categories of players. The research is based on a phenomenological approach, appropriate to this project due to its ethnographic character. Part of the study’s field research was conducted largely from 2011 to 2012, both in China and Germany. In China, information was gathered by using open and semi-structured in- depth expert interviews with ten representatives from the Chinese tourism industry, tourism boards, as well as with tourism academics. In Germany, the ethnographic fieldwork consisted of participant observations, semi-structured interviews and short questionnaires to forty Chinese outbound tourist members of three group package tours organized by Chinese-German travel companies. Complementary to tourist contributions, is information provided by the groups´ tour guides and tour leaders during four semi-structured in-depth interview and “on the run” talks. Equally important are my field notes, diaries, photos and videos. Furthermore, expert interviews are to be conducted with German industry representatives, experts and academics in the summer of 2013. This project argues that the examination of tourism practices and behaviours of Chinese outbound organized mass tourists under the performance metaphor can provide further understandings on the previously neglected tourism consumption of “non-Western” tourists. It will also further concur with the recent de-differentiation between the everyday mundane and the extraordinary “other” in tourism theory, by acknowledging that everyday conventions and habits inform touristic performances of Chinese tourists in Germany. PhD Candidate: Alma Berenice Pendzialek, MBA Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU - Dep. of Tourism Geography) Research first supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hans Hopfinger (KU) Second supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt (FH-Westkueste, Heide) August, 2013

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