Tourist scams in the city: challenges for domestic travellers in urban China

Li, Jing, and Pearce, Philip (2016) Tourist scams in the city: challenges for domestic travellers in urban China. International Journal of Tourism Cities, 2 (4). pp. 294-308.

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify dominant scams against domestic tourists in popular tourism cities in China. There are two questions of concern: what types of scams do domestic tourists experience and are the patterns of scams different between the capital and regional cities? The social situation framework was employed to interpret the outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – A content analysis facilitated by Leximancer software was applied to 102 Chinese travel blogs reporting experiences of being scammed in Beijing, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Sanya and Guilin. Clear themes and concepts emerged from the analysis of these travel reviews and differences in scamming patterns between Beijing and regional cities were identified.

Findings - The most frequently reported scams in the capital Beijing were linked to the chaotic environment at tourist attractions and the misbehaviours of tour agents. By way of contrast scams involving manipulating the weight and quality of products purchased were more common in regional cities. The differences between Beijing and other locations may lie in the greater monitoring of fraudulent practices in the capital. Additionally, the role of shills (confederates of the scammer) was highlighted in many of the scams studied.

Originality/value - Scams include a slightly less serious but still troublesome set of problems accompanying major crimes and assaults. Rare research specifically focussed on tourist scams despite substantive work discussing crimes against tourists as general. Implications of the present study lie in enriching the literature on scams against tourists. The analysis of scams as a special type of social situation proved to be insightful in directing attention to facets of the interaction thus providing connections to previous work and directions for further study. It is also promising to be developed to inform strategic approaches to creating a safer tourism environment in cities.

Item ID: 47287
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2056-5615
Keywords: China, domestic tourism, city, Leximancer, social situation, toutist scam
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 01:14
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350806 Tourist behaviour and visitor experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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