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Power of Dramas: A Comparison of Voluntourism Between Chinese and American Film Tourists

Chapter
Part of the Perspectives on Asian Tourism book series (PAT)

Abstract

Neither the connection between film tourism and voluntourism nor the differences between Chinese and American film-induced voluntourists have been studied enough despite the potential importance of film-induced voluntourists for destinations. This research explores the phenomenon of voluntourism among fans of two very popular TV dramas in China and the US, Soldier Sortie and Lost, respectively, by conducting a qualitative ‘netnographic’ study on fans’ online conversations. The study aims at investigating both the motivations and specific behaviours of film-induced voluntourists in different cultures. The study finds that Soldier Sortie fans in China act more like a virtual charity organisation, while Lost fans engage with an existing charity organisation. Volunteering programs initiated by Soldier Sortie fans have taken on an important role in propelling the development of some tourist destinations in rural areas of the province where the series was shot. Moreover, Soldier Sortie fans act not only as donors but also as organisers and auditors, choosing and determining which school to help. This reflects the much stronger level of connectivity and activism among Chinese fans.

Keywords

Film tourism Voluntourism Cultural difference Netnography Fan activism Social media 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Landscape ArchitectureBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Annenberg School of Communication and JournalismUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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