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2020-2021 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present

Chinese Culture and Chinese Outbound Tourism: A Book Proposal

Dr. Yunzi Zhang, Northern Marianas College

Friday, April 1, 4PM-6PM PST

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It is now sensitive to address the topic of Chinese outbound tourism as frontline workers, managers and other professionals in the Chinese travel industry experience unprecedented hardship. Since the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, Chinese outbound leisure travel has been nearly non-existence. The disappearance of this travel market, which once was among the world's biggest, has caused economic devastation for many. And China's current zero-COVID policy leads to an unforeseeable future. But it is now also a proper time to reflect on the development of Chinese outbound tourism, including its early history and milestones, as well as to examine the implications for a post-COVID world. Through this presentation, we introduce an on-going book project and invite critique and feedback from the audience.

In this book, we consider outbound tourism as a form of connection - one that bridges the Chinese people to the outside world, and a political instrument - one that can be manipulated to serve government and party interests. We develop these ideas through three main sections:

1. China's engagement with international tourism after 1949: welcome to a socialist China
2. The rising Chinese outbound market after the 2008 Beijing Olympics:
- the economic power of the Chinese tourists
- the tourist gaze and the gaze on the Chinese tourist
3. The divide between Chinese and non-Chinese lands: post-COVID prospects for Chinese outbound tourism

Analyzing the Chinese outbound market through a socio-historical perspective, the book aims to investigate the complex meanings and implications of "traveling abroad" to Chinese tourists.

Yunzi Zhang joined the faculty of the Northern Marianas College in the Commonwealth of the NMI in 2017, after receiving a PhD in hospitality & tourism management from Purdue University in Indiana, US. Yunzi's research interests include history / politics and tourism, Chinese outbound tourism, and qualitative research methodology. Her book chapter Quality Experiences of China's Family Tourists in the United States was recognized as an Outstanding Author Contribution in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards. Yunzi holds a master's degree in hospitality management from Cornell University and a B.B.A. from George Washington University.

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