The recent deployment of the THAAD system to South Korea has resulted in complex and controversial issues, particularly in the political, diplomatic, and economic relations between Korea and China [Perlez, J. (2017, May 31). China woos South Korea’s new leader, but the U.S. left behind a spoiler. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/world/asia/china-south-korea-xi-jinping-moon-jaein-thaad.html?_r=0]. To minimize its negative impact on international tourism, the underlying psychological mechanisms of Chinese tourists associated with this complex political issue should be determined. As an attempt to resolve the current crisis, this study identified the subjective characteristics of Chinese tourists who cancelled visits to Korea using Q-methodology and classified Chinese tourists’ attitude towards the THAAD issue. Based on respondent’s evaluations on Q-sample statements, four types of Chinese tourists were articulated, namely, patriotism, risk awareness, external dependency, and Lotte sanctions. By delving into tourists’ subjectivity, Q-methodology seems powerful to elicit intrapersonal constraints, which are deeply embedded in an individual’s psychological state. The results showed that the THAAD issue greatly influenced Chinese tourists’ personal values, beliefs, and identities.
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© 2017 Asia Pacific Tourism Association.
- Chinese tourists