Journeys from the east: The popular geopolitics of film motivated Chinese tourism

Mary Mostafanezhad, Jamie Coates, Jennifer Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Over the past five years the number of outbound travellers from the People's Republic of China (PRC) doubled, making Chinese tourists the largest group of international travellers in the world. Drawing on media reports of the impact of box office hits on Chinese outbound tourism, we explore how popular cinema informs the Chinese tourism boom's impact on the everyday geopolitics of Sino-host tourism encounters. Through a critical discourse analysis of representations of tourism practices in Chinese film, we highlight key tropes of economic and political power that present touristic practices as imaginable, aspirational, and attainable. We then examine how actual tourism encounters compare to their onscreen imaginaries. Drawing on theoretical and methodological insights from film studies, political anthropology and geography, this article contributes to emerging multi-disciplinary work on how filmic representations of Chinese tourism mediates the ongoing rearticulation of geopolitics within what has been dubbed the 'Chinese Century'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Anthropology
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Cite this