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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.134

The Integration of Tourism Migrant Workers into Host Community: A Case Study of Shuanglang Town, China


  • Dr. Jiuxia SUN

Primary authors



The rapid development of tourism makes homogeneous rural communities morph into heterogeneous ones by attracting non-local workers to move into the locales. Dynamic interactions between destination community and tourism migrant workers (TMWs) in the integration process remain unexplored, particularly when it comes to TMWs from urban to rural areas who have mixed motivations for consuming tourism resources and exploring business opportunities. This study takes both structural and normative spheres of migrant integration into consideration and explores the complex dynamics of Chinese urban TMWs’ integration into rural communities. Through three-stage fieldworks with observations, interviews, and surveys conducted in Shuanglang Town, a rural destination in China, this study finds that TMWs’ integration into local community involves four dimensions: economic adaptation, social integration, cultural acceptance and psychological integration. Specifically, while TMWs’ active and in-depth involvement in local economy creates certain social conditions, contacts based on economic activities and residential proximity did not effectively transfer into close personal contact. So structural integration remains unachievable for most TMWs. In addition, most TMWs tend to stay with their own values, norms and behavioural patterns despite appreciating and even being attracted to the local culture. Furthermore, TMWs’ psychological integration to local community has shown contradictory features, which reflects their profound ambivalence during the process of integration. Further investigations revealed that three factors residing in TMWs themselves, including bonding social capital, superiority of urban identity and sojourner mentality, significantly influence the integration process. These findings help elucidate the difficulties and limiting factors of integration within contemporary hybrid-mobility societies.