The Nine Safeties: How Inexperienced Tourists Manage the Strangeness of China

Robert Douglas McKercher, Sau Lai Lui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Tourism can be an intimidating activity, especially for inexperienced tourists who are entering a culturally distant destination. They may encounter such extreme culture shock that the quality of experience can be affected. To cope with that, the literature suggests tourists envelop themselves in an environmental bubble of familiarity to reduce the level of strangeness. In practice, the process must occur rapidly, and if the person is inexperienced, often without the benefits of a known context to inform them how to do so. This paper reports on a range of strangeness reduction strategies developed by a group of mostly inexperienced Canadian tourists who were making their first pleasure trip to China. Three sources of environmental bubble were identified that resulted in the development of "Nine Safeties.".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-394
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of China Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • environmental bubble
  • Risk
  • risk reduction
  • strangeness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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