Queuing behavior in theme parks: A comparison between chinese and western tourists

Vincent C.S. Heung, Kee Fu Tsang, Mavis Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The number of tourists visiting Hong Kong has been increasing in recent years. A visit to a theme park is one of the main activities that tourists in Hong Kong undertake, particularly those who come from mainland China. Crowd management has become an important issue for theme park management. In 2006, Hong Kong's Ocean Park received 5 million visitors, a figure expected to be exceeded in coming years. Though this increase in the number of visitors will result in increased revenue and profits for the park, it will also lead to the problems of overcrowding and queuing. In light of the issues theme parks such as Ocean Park are likely to face, this study investigates the acceptable and perceived waiting time of Chinese and Western tourists. We find that the mean scores for the theme park ride waiting time considered acceptable by Chinese and Western tourists are 15.2 and 21.3 minutes, respectively. The results indicate that Chinese and Western tourists have significantly different standards for what is an acceptable theme park ride waiting time (p ⩽ 0.05). In terms of factors that reduce the perceived waiting time, though a “comfortable waiting environment” is very important to Chinese visitors, “value of the ride” is given a high priority by Western visitors. We discuss the implications of the findings of this study for theme park management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Chinese and Western tourists
  • Cultural differences
  • Queuing
  • Theme park

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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