cfp: Special issue on “China, Tourism and (Soft) Power.”

Call for Papers

Journal of China Tourism Research

Special issue on China, Tourism and (Soft) Power.

Guest Editors

Michael O’Regan, PhD.

Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

Professor Joseph Cheer

Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan

Journal of China Tourism Research, a quarterly from Routledge, is a refereed journal that publishes contemporary quality research on tourism relating to China. This special issue invites submissions related to the overarching theme “China, Tourism and (Soft) Power.”

While there has been considerable scholarly work on soft power and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the political and economic investment in Chinese outbound tourism deserves greater attention. As the number of trips taken abroad by Chinese citizens rises well over 130m per year, tourism is a crucial issue in contemporary China, and a major object of governmentality. As China exercises soft power using outbound tourism (and arts and culture more broadly), the growth of Chinese tourism has on the surface, benefited national and local economies across the globe.

However, the confluence of tourism with nationalism and soft power agendas in China has seen recent ‘unofficial’ boycotts and tourist ‘bans’ against tourism to Palau, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan, while Chinese authorities have used tourism to enforce the construction of borders and boundaries in the South China Sea. Just as many countries have eased their visa requirements for Chinese tourists, China has increasingly sought to police its own perceived ‘low-end’ tourists who might undermine Chinese influence on the international stage. While authorities have sought to attract members of the overseas Chinese community to China, ‘Tuidang’ volunteers and Falun Gong practitioners seek out Chinese tourists abroad to question the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Questions have emerged about the linkages between tourism and politics, tourism and human rights, tourism and international migration patterns, and the impact of returning Chinese tourists on Chinese society. These questions place the landscapes of Chinese tourists into a broader context. It demands tourism scholars to consider transregional dynamics and politics, to explore tourism’s broader links to Chinese strategic interests. While China has been accused of overshadowing its search for political, economic and military influence through tourism, tourism projects that embed infrastructure have been welcomed by many recipient countries. Indeed, accusations of Chinese colonialism, and imperial ambition, being linked to strategic objectives for tourism development, are said to be largely based on anti-Chinese rhetoric and Sinophobia.

We invite scholars to submit theoretical work, case studies and empirical research, for the purpose of expanding our understanding of Chinese outbound tourism. This special issue seeks papers that address Chinese outbound tourism via multiple approaches, which might include the following.

–           Chinese outbound tourism and migration

–           Discourses around the ‘Chinese tourist’ in the west and China

–           Case studies on BRI linked tourism projects

–           Tourism and the construction of borders and boundaries

–           The political economy of tourism development

–           Political geographies

–           Chinese use of the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme

–           Anti-Chinese rhetoric & Sinophobia around Chinese tourists

–           Chinese tourist perceptions, motivations and practices

–           Historical evolution of Chinese tourism policies

–           Key themes within China’s tourism policy narratives

–           Opposition to specific forms of Chinese tourism e.g. Casinos

–           Chinese tourism development and sustainability

–           Chinese tourism and geopolitics (bans, boycotts)

–           Chinese tourists and governmentality

–           Chinese tourist geographies

–           BRI projects and intercultural communications

–           The geopolitics of tourist project infrastructure

–           The Chinese social credit system and tourism

–           Rising powers and tourism

–           Power, tourism and politics in history

–           Weaponization of tourism

We encourage contributions from disciplines, subjects and fields such as geography, sociology, psychology, leisure studies, critical tourism studies, marketing and international relations, among others. Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcome.

Submission Deadlines:

  • One-page abstract due (no more than 500 words): 9 August 2019

To clearly address the focus, submitted abstracts should outline the context(s) of study, perspectives/approaches adopted, main findings where appropriate, and potential contributions of the undertaking.

  • Full paper due: 14 February 2020

All papers are to be peer reviewed before possible inclusion in the special issue.

  • Projected publication date: November 2020

Submission Guidelines:

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or be under review for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the journal’s “Instructions for Authors”

Abstracts should be submitted as email attachment to both guest editors at the following address:

Michael O’Regan, Senior Academic, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University –

Professor Joseph Cheer, Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University, Japan –