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Chapter 17 Diaspora Community Festivals and Tourism

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2644

ISBN: 978-1-910158-15-9

Published: January 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Focus On Festivals

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2599



Festivals that celebrate the identities, cultures and traditions of diverse minority, ethnic, diaspora communities are significant cultural and social phenomena. They may also contribute to the visitor economy, for example through increasing tourism income, government revenue and employment (Maclinchey, 2008; O’Sullivan and Jackson, 2002; Picard and Robinson, 2006). Furthermore, diaspora community festivals may contribute to enriching the development of place-images and destination marketing themes that seek to reflect diversity and promote a ‘globalised’ image of the population of the area (usually city) where such festivals take place (Paradis, 2002). As a consequence, ‘festival tourism’ has entered the language of tourism studies, defined as “a phenomenon in which people from outside a festival locale visit during the festival period” (O’Sullivan and Jackson, 2002: 325). This chapter contributes to festival tourism studies by exploring Chinese New Year festivals in the UK and their emerging prominence as tourism attractions. Research in this area examines its potential for building bridges between communities and cultures. Some scholars problematise the term ‘festival tourism’ and resist defining it as a particular category of the tourism market. For example, Quinn (2009) refuses to employ this term, arguing that the primary purpose of festivals is not usually the generation of tourism. Some contemporary festivals do possess a strong place-marketing or tourism objective as part of their rationale. However, many ‘traditional festivals’ that celebrate community beliefs, social values and identities do not have tourism as a primary purpose (though this may be a significant secondary outcome). Examples include festivities associated with belief systems and annual cultural events such as those associated with the Chinese New Year (Bakhtin, 1984; Humphrey, 2001; Magliocco, 2006). Although these festivals have changed in their form over time and some of them may have associations with tourism, they cannot be equated with events that are planned primarily for tourism.

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  • Yi Fu (Author)
  • Philip Long (Author)
  • Rhodri Thomas (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Christopher Maughan, Freelance writer (Editor)
  • Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Franco Bianchini, Leeds Beckett University (Editor)

Cite as

Fu, Long & Thomas, 2015

Fu, Y., Long, P. & Thomas, R. (2015) "Chapter 17 Diaspora Community Festivals and Tourism" In: Newbold, C., Maughan, C., Jordan, J. & Bianchini, F. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2644


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