Realms of Tourism Spa Experience: The Case of Mainland Chinese Tourists

Sau Yee Ada Lo, Hailin Qu, Prateep Wetprasit

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate mainland Chinese tourists' perception of spa visitation as a tourism experience by adopting Pine and Gilmore's realms of experience and Aho's realms of tourism experience. The study also identifies factors which contribute to the attainment of the various realms of experiences. Focus group and individual interviews with spa managers and mainland Chinese consumers were conducted. Results of the study indicated that tourists' spa experience consisted of the realms of escapism, aesthetics, education, cure, transformation, and reward and recognition. The realm of entertainment proposed by Pine and Gilmore was not identified. Managers and customer are different in their perceptions in the realms of tourism spa experience and the factors which enhance the spa experience. Both industry managers and customers suggested that localized theme and environment, products and treatments, personalized and value-added services, and professional skills and attitude of therapists were essential in enhancing the spa experience. Managers added that interaction and communication with customers prior to visitation and diversity of facilities are essential. Customers see cleanliness of facilities, privacy, and service distance as important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-451
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Chinese tourists
  • Spa
  • tourism experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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