Feeling superior or deprived? Attitudes and underlying mentalities of residents towards Mainland Chinese tourists

Nan Chen, Cathy H.C. Hsu, Xiang (Robert) Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The exponential increase in the number of Mainland Chinese tourists (MCTs) and their sudden influx to popular destinations worldwide have resulted in increasingly frequent media reports on their behaviours and encounters with hosts. However, the academic literature has inadequately analysed resident attitudes towards this surging and, in a few destinations, dominant group. The current study addresses this gap by examining the attitudes and mentalities of Hong Kong (HK) residents towards MCTs and revealing their underlying psychological mechanism. A total of 39 semi-structured interviews demonstrate that unfavourable attitudes towards MCTs have exceeded neutral or positive attitudes. Moreover, HK residents share two intertwined mentalities – sense of superiority and feeling of deprivation. Findings are discussed under the social identity meta-theoretical framework, and a cyclic psychological mechanism of ‘social categorisation–social identity–social comparison’ is identified underlying resident attitude and community mentality formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-107
Number of pages14
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Dominant source market
  • Mainland Chinese tourists
  • Relative deprivation
  • Resident attitude and mentality
  • Sense of superiority
  • Social identity theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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