Why immigrants travel to their home places: Social capital and acculturation perspective

Kam Hung, Honggen Xiao, Xiaotao Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an inductive analysis of the meanings and dynamics of immigrants' travel to their places of origin from the perspective of social capital and acculturation. The narratives from in-depth interviews with 20 informants with different backgrounds vividly portray the dynamic and subjective life experience of the Mainland Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong. The results thematically (re)presents their experience in terms of the " horizontal and vertical changes in social capital and its effects on travel decisions and acculturation, its influence on travel decisions, the effects of social capital on acculturation, and the influence of constraints on immigrants' travel." Quintessentially, the inductive analysis sheds light on the meanings and dynamics of the immigrants' travel to their home places. For future studies, observations from this interpretive approach could be augmented by empirical testing and measurement of the interrelationships among social capital, acculturation, constraints, and travel decisions pertinent to Mainland Chinese immigrants traveling from Hong Kong to their places of origins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-313
Number of pages10
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Acculturation
  • Immigration
  • Social capital
  • Travel constraints
  • Travel decisions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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