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Media-Induced Voluntourism in Yunnan, China

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Media-induced tourism as well as voluntourism are topics increasingly investigated in the tourism literature. However, a discussion of the intersection of these two forms of tourism (i.e., media-induced voluntourism) is currently missing from the literature. Using the example of two Chinese TV dramas, this article seeks to shed light on motivations and activities of media-induced voluntourists to the Chinese province of Yunnan. Based on a thematic analysis of online postings of the fans of these Chinese TV dramas, the article finds empirical evidence for media-induced voluntourism. The findings reveal that fans travel to Yunnan not only to engage in altruistic behavior, but also to inspect the volunteer work of other fans, as well as to receive recognition from the community. General tourism activities also play a role in their travels. The results indicate that fan voluntourism was strongly motivated by their empathy for the TV dramas' characters and their desire to live the values promoted in these dramas.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-07-01

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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