The discourse of power: Deng Xiaoping and tourism development in China

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses China's tourism development and policy through a discourse analysis of Deng Xiaoping's talks on tourism. Five transcribed and officially published texts were decoded to identify sentential and discourse topics which were then semantically categorized into six interrelated topic dimensions: (1) conservation and environmental protection, (2) education/training/human resources, (3) infrastructure and tourism facilities, (4) management/operation/entrepreneurship, (5) marketing and promotion, and (6) policy/planning/administration. These dimensions jointly supported a central theme-tourism as economic development, which was recurring throughout the discourse. A contextualization of the central theme and topical dimensions also revealed that tourism was addressed as a signifier (or showcase) of reform and open policies that were initiated in China from the late 1970s. While readers are cautioned about the limitations associated with an insider's interpretation, this analysis offers a perspective on tourism development and policy in a developing and/or socialist country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-814
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Deng Xiaoping
  • Discourse analysis
  • Tourism development
  • Tourism policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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