What is it about?

This study explores the group dynamics of Chinese backpackers (independent travellers) when travelling in Europe. The travel groups were formed through Chinese online forums and group members only met each other the first time in the beginning of the trips. The lead author travelled with the participants to gain the deep understanding of the group dynamics. We found Chinese backpackers applied traditional Chinese values such as: guanxi, keqi, respect for authority and conformity to sustained and develop different level of harmony.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

This is the first study investigating the self-organised travel group dynamics. As the independent travel is getting more and more popular, we believe understanding the dynamics between members within the self-organised group is essential as it contributes significantly to the travel experience. This study provides valuable insights of Chinese backpackers who looking for travel companions online. It contributes to the understanding of harmony, group dynamics and Chinese outbound backpackers.


This is part of my PhD project. As a Chinese backpacker myself, I am very passionate in this project. It is really interesting to find out that how a group of 'strangers' backpacking together and maintain different levels of harmony by practising Chinese cultural codes.

Dr Wenjie Cai
University of Greenwich

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Harmony rules in Chinese backpacker groups, Annals of Tourism Research, March 2019, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2018.12.010.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page