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Jingru (Damon) Zhang

Jingru ZhangDoctoral Research Abstract

Thesis Title: Living amongst the Others: Lifestyle Entrepreneur Migration in Tourism Communities in China
The relationship between host and guest is one of the most important topics in the anthropology of tourism. However, lifestyle entrepreneur migrants, who play paradoxical roles in the local community - “guests” for the indigenous and “hosts” for the tourists - are largely ignored in the previous literature. These migrants usually run small tourism businesses such as “homestays” and independent restaurants in local communities. Compared with tourists, they live in these communities for a longer time and interact with the indigenous more frequently and continuously. The competition and cooperation in business with local residents also complicate their relationships. Interestingly, these lifestyle entrepreneur migrants are not always economically driven. The word “lifestyle” represents their most significant motivation - to seek a better way of life. As well as examining how these “postmodern migrants” construct and reconstruct their identity, the study will widen the research scope which focuses on tourism’s implications for local communities, as well as providing local governments with valuable insights into the changing formation of their communities. Overall, the study aims to contribute new knowledge in the area of lifestyle entrepreneur migrants in tourism destination communities, as well as to provide a new perspective from the Chinese context.


Master of Science, Geography (Urban and Regional Planning). College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China (2015)
Bachelor of Management, Tourism Management. Department of Tourism, Fudan University, Shanghai, China (2012)

Scholarships and Awards

University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship – University of Otago, New Zealand (2016)
Postgraduate Scholarship of Peking University – Peking University, China (2014)
Excellent Graduates of Fudan University – Fudan University, China (2012)
The People’s Scholarship in Fudan University – Fudan University, China (2009-2011)

Primary Research Interests

Community development in the context of tourism
Including: local residents’ perception of tourism impacts, host-guest relationship and community participation

Lifestyle and identity construction
Including: Meaning making of tourists, lifestyle travellers (backpackers) and lifestyle entrepreneur migration

Destination marketing and management
Particularly: Destination image and country image


Journal Articles

Zhang, J., Morrison, A. M., Tucker, H., & Wu, B. (online). Am I a backpacker? Factors indicating the social identity of Chinese backpackers. Journal of Travel Research. dol: 0047287517702744.

Zhang, J., Wu, B., Morrison, A. M., Tseng, C., and Chen, Y. C. (online). How country image affects tourists’ destination evaluations: A moderated mediation approach. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research. doi: 10.1177/1096348016640584

Zhang, J., Tucker, H., Morrison, A. M., & Wu, B. (2017). Becoming a backpacker in China: A grounded theory approach to identity construction of backpackers. Annals of Tourism Research, 64, 114-125.

Zhang, J., Ying, G., Wu, B., Morrison, A. M., and Cong, L. (2016). Is destination marketing organization microblogging in China delivering? An empirical analysis of information supply against consumer information needs. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 22(1), 68-85.

Xing, X., and Zhang, J.. (2015). A model of tourist’s perception of referential authenticity in experience economic times [in Chinese]. Commercial Times, (22), 118-120.

Tseng, C., Wu, B., Morrison, A. M., Zhang, J., and Chen Y. C. (2015). Travel blogs on China as a destination image formation agent: A qualitative analysis using Leximancer. Tourism Management, 46, 347-358.

Zhang, J., Chen, Y. C., Tseng, C., Wu, B., and Morrison, A. M. (2015). An integrative model of destination image in a country context: A case study based on Western tourists in Beijing [in Chinese]. Tourism Tribune, 30(3), 13-22.

Zhang, J., Zhang, X., and Wu, B. (2015). A knowledge mapping analysis on curriculum system of recreation studies in USA [in Chinese]. Tourism Science, 29(1), 76-87.

Book Chapter

Zhang, J., Zhao, Y., and Guo, Y. (2012). Local residents’ perception and attitudes toward Shanghai Disney Resort [in Chinese]. In J. Lou and D. Xiao (Eds.), Theme Park and Urban Tourism. (pp. 64-69). Shanghai: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.
Conference Proceedings

Xing, X., Wu, B., Morrison, A.M., and Zhang, J. (2016). Tourists’ perception of authenticity on heritage rejuvenated attractions in China. 6th International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) Biennial Conference, London, UK.