"Don't Go for Humiliation." Mainland Chinese Cyber Nationalism Versus Visitation to Hong Kong

Liu, Yang
Johnston, Charles
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Master of International Tourism Management
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Auckland University of Technology

Nationalism is always seen as a ?double-edged sword? for governing a nation. In the 1990s, Chinese cyber nationalism emerged and has developed at an increasing pace. The history of anti-America, anti-Japan and anti-France has witnessed its strong and dark power in the international economy, especially in the tourism industry. As more and more Mainland Chinese visit Hong Kong, the difference in politics, culture and economy, as well as Hong Kong?s special status as a Special Administrative Region of China, has cultivated and prospered Chinese cyber nationalism towards Hong Kong. Meanwhile, nationalistic arguments by ?angry youth? were frequently observed on the Internet. Recent years have seen the reduction of Mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong, making it no longer the Chinese most favoured destination. Since tourism is one of the pillar industries in Hong Kong, and Mainland China is the biggest tourist market, it is essential to investigate the connection between increasing Chinese cyber nationalism towards Hong Kong and its impact on Mainland tourists travelling to Hong Kong. This study was designed to examine the relationship between Chinese cyber nationalism and its impact on potential tourists? pre-visit behaviour. Based on Planned Behaviour theory, a quantitative content analysis was adopted to investigate the emotion and intentions involved in the text comments made by online users. A dual approach of both computer-assisted tools and human coding was employed to analyse the massive text data derived from Sina Weibo and ensure the accuracy and validity of the results. Altogether 545 Hong Kong-Mainland incident reports and 495,811 text comments were retrieved and analysed. Correlation tests were conducted to test the strength of the association between Chinese cyber nationalistic sentiment and contemporaneous mainland tourist arrivals in Hong Kong. It is clear that Chinese cyber nationalism has different levels of negative impact on potential tourists? attitudes and travel intentions towards Hong Kong, depending on the types of Hong Kong-Mainland incidents. Mainland tourist arrivals in Hong Kong moderately and negatively correlate with Chinese cyber nationalism, but are significantly and negatively correlated with long-term accumulated Chinese cyber nationalism.

Chinese cyber nationalism , Travel decision-making , Tourist attitude , Travel intentions , Hong Kong travel , Tourist behaviour
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