Publication Details

Shao, J., Scarpino, M., Lee, Y. & Gretzel, U. (2012). Media-induced voluntourism in Yunnan, China. Tourism Review International: an international journal, 15 (3), 277-292.


Media-induced tourism as well as voluntourism are topics increasingly investigated in the tourism literature. However, a discussion of the intersection of these two forms of tourism (i.e., mediainduced voluntourism) is currently missing from the literature. Using the example of two Chinese TV dramas, this article seeks to shed light on motivations and activities of media-induced voluntourists to the Chinese province of Yunnan. Based on a thematic analysis of online postings of the fans of these Chinese TV dramas, the article finds empirical evidence for media-induced voluntourism. The findings reveal that fans travel to Yunnan not only to engage in altruistic behavior, but also to inspect the volunteer work of other fans, as well as to receive recognition from the community. General tourism activities also play a role in their travels. The results indicate that fan voluntourism was strongly motivated by their empathy for the TV dramas’ characters and their desire to live the values promoted in these dramas.



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