The boycott of Chinese outbound tourists: the influence of the conspiracy theory on human trafficking in Thailand

Xinzi Lin, Libo Yan, Jing Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Thailand is one of the most popular outbound destinations for Chinese tourists. However, the conspiracy theory about trafficking Chinese in Thailand has negatively affected the resilience of the Chinese outbound market after the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue of how beliefs in the conspiracy theory affect Chinese tourists’ intention to visit Thailand is investigated in this study. An online survey with a valid sample of 452 Chinese was conducted in July and August 2023. The measurement model and structural model were tested via WarpPLS 8.0. The results of this study indicate that beliefs in the conspiracy theory arouse Chinese tourists’ distrust towards Thailand and signify that tourism boycott is a form of negative political consumption. Furthermore, the respondents react differently to the conspiracy theory based on their age and past visit experience. This study highlights conspiracy beliefs as a psychological factor affecting tourist behaviour. It also suggests that relevant conspiracy theories overshadow tourism resilience in destinations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Chinese outbound tourists
  • conspiracy beliefs
  • destination boycott
  • destination distrust

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