The ‘imagined West’ of young independent travellers from Asia

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T. Bui, Huong
C. Wilkins, Hugh
Lee, Young-Sook
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2013
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Abstract

Although independent travel has become increasingly popular amongst young Asians in recent years, little research has been done to explore this segment. This study examines how young Asians construct the concept of an 'imagined West' from their travel. Data were collected through 31 in-depth interviews with young Asian independent travellers in Australia and Vietnam and informal conversations and observations recorded in field notes. The findings of the study suggest that young Asian independent travellers' imagination of the West encompasses a desire to experience Western cosmopolitanism and a motivation to accumulate cultural capital for personal development. The study contributes to the literature of Asian travel by highlighting the diversity of the 'imagined West' in relation to socio-cultural backgrounds of young Asian independent travellers.

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Annals of Leisure Research

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16

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2

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Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience

Commercial Services

Tourism

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