Marketing China overseas: The role of theme parks and tourist attractions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In a competitive global tourism market, the creation and maintenance of national and regional images becomes crucial to the marketing process. As attraction visiting becomes a central element of everyday life, the role of attractions in image formation is also growing. This is the rationale behind the creation of the Splendid China cultural parks, which present famous Chinese landmarks in miniature. This paper examines the role of the parks in China, Florida and the Netherlands in creating an image of China, and in particular examines the familiarity of visitors and nonvisitors with the markers presented in these parks. Interviews with Dutch and overseas Chinese respondents are used to analyse their familiarity with the markers presented in the park, and to elicit their overall image of China as a tourism destination. This analysis shows that while Dutch nonvisitors have a fairly naïve image of China, Dutch respondents are fairly conversant with the major cultural attractions of the country. In contrast, overseas Chinese respondents are not so familiar with these attractions, owing to the ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (VFR) nature of their tourism consumption. The research emphasises the importance of targeting images to the needs of different visitor groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-38
JournalJournal of Vacation Marketing
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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