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China's Olympic destination: tourist evaluations of China and the Games

John Nadeau (Associate Professor at the Nipissing University, North Bay, Canada)
Norm O'Reilly (Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Louise Heslop (Professor at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 9 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on the views that tourists in China have about the country, its people, the country as a destination and the 2008 Olympic Games that were held there.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes a survey in which responses were gathered from 288 tourists in Beijing, China during the 2008 Olympic Summer Games. The study presents results for China's three images (country, destination, and mega‐event) using an attitudinal framework and explores the patterns of relationships using linear regression.

Findings

Results of the study show that tourists perceive China positively in terms of the country and people competencies and the character of the people. China is less positively viewed in terms of country character. As a destination, China is seen positively for its built environment but less positively for its natural environment. Positive experiential and logistical beliefs characterize the Olympic Games, while beliefs about security are less positive. The data support the assertion that the three images are important and related. In addition, the evaluation of China as a destination involves the relationship of the country image evaluation to the evaluation of the Olympic Games.

Originality/value

This paper addresses a gap that exists in image‐based research on mega‐events. In particular, this study explores mega‐event image in the context of the host country and destination images.

Keywords

Citation

Nadeau, J., O'Reilly, N. and Heslop, L. (2011), "China's Olympic destination: tourist evaluations of China and the Games", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 235-246. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506181111156934

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited