Cultural connectedness and visitor segmentation in diaspora Chinese tourism
This study extends previous research on the motivations and expenditures of overseas Chinese tourists in mainland China by segmenting these visitors on the basis of their connectedness and experience with Chinese culture. Using empirical materials collected during diaspora-specialized tours, we identified Shallow, Extrinsic, Hybrid and Intrinsic segments which vary by their demographics, degree of cultural connectedness, experience with and knowledge of China, and willingness to engage with Chinese culture. Connectedness mediated their experience and interaction with Chinese culture, resulting in distinctive cognitive, affective, conative and prescriptive responses in various frontstage and backstage tourism moments. Overseas Chinese tourists in China are thereby revealed as a culturally and experientially complex cohort meriting distinctive product development and marketing strategies. Recommendations emerging from this research for effective engagement with diaspora tourists include the mobilization of all destination actors to add backstage flavor to frontstage cultural moments.