The influence of zero-fare tours on the host–guest understanding

Libo Yan, Man Tat Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study is to explore the host–guest relationship at a macro level, investigating the sociopsychological relationship between a destination and its markets. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopted netnography to fulfill the research purpose. Data were collected from Sina Microblog, the predominant social media platform in China, focused on bloggers responses to a fatal conflict between a tour participant and the guide during a shopping tour. Findings: Bloggers' attributional discussions help to understand the nature of the host–guest relations. Responses from Chinese and Hong Kong bloggers showcased criticism toward the other community and criticism of one's own community. These were reflected in three themes: concerns with the place of conflict or the identities of the perpetrators, hospitableness or discrimination and the Chinese and Hong Kong cultures. Research limitations/implications: The major limitation is that the subject of this study (young bloggers) does not represent a complete cross section of the residents of China and Hong Kong. This study suggests a need for a broader theoretical perspective of the host–guest encounter. The study results have practical implications for destinations receiving Chinese group package tours. Practical implications: The study results have practical implications for destinations receiving Chinese group package tours. Originality/value: On-site interaction has been the focus of previous studies of the host–guest relationship, and off-site interactions were seldom explored. This study bridges the gap and extends the discourse on the host–guest relationship to a wider temporal (by taking a post event view) and spatial (by assessing the issue off-site) scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-721
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Forced shopping
  • Group package tours
  • Hong Kong
  • Host–guest relationship
  • Negative events


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