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Ethnic Towns and Tourism Representation: A Phenomenology of Incheon Chinatown, Korea

  • Journal of Tourism Sciences
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2019, 43(2), pp.11-27
  • DOI : 10.17086/JTS.2019.43.2.11.27
  • Publisher : The Tourism Sciences Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Social Science > Tourism
  • Received : August 28, 2018
  • Accepted : October 17, 2018
  • Published : March 1, 2019

Changsup Shim 1 Jang HeeSun 2 JUNG SAN SEOL 2 Lee, Hoon 2

1가천대학교
2한양대학교

Excellent Accredited

ABSTRACT

Ethnic towns, geographic areas with a high ethnic concentration, serve as tourist attractions because they include unique landscapes, ethnic food, and interesting products. At the same time, a variety of scholarly attention to ethnic townshas been paid because ethnic towns are excellent places where hybridization of multiple cultures is routinely observed. Therefore, employing the concept of tourism representation, the current study examined Incheon Chinatown, the biggest ethnic town of South Korea. From the perspective of phenomenology, 18 merchants who owned shops or worked in Incheon Chinatown were interviewed with a focus on how Chinese cultural identity was being represented by the merchants to attract tourists. The results are as follows. First, the merchants tended to use objective evidence that showed the close relationship between their products and China. Second, to intentionally construct an exotic environment, the merchants tended to emphasize cultural differences through their tourism representation of Chinese cultural identity. Third, the merchants’ tourism representation of Chinese cultural identity tended to reflect the uniqueness and contemporary reality of Incheon Chinatown, not the real China. Based on the results, theoretical, practical, and policy implications are provided.

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