Effects of place attachment on home return travel: a spatial perspective

Tingting Elle LI*, Bob MCKERCHER

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies on place--mobility relationships suggest an increasing possibility that people can have multiple place attachments at varied spatial scales. Yet, our understanding of how place attachment in different spatial scales affects mobility remains limited. This study investigates home return visits by Chinese diaspora tourists from North America who have made multiple trips to China. A total of 27 in-depth interviews with repeat home return travellers were conducted. Four different types of return movements were identified: local; dispersed; local & dispersed; and second-migration locale focused. A relationship was found between the participants’ sense of place, place identity, and home return travel. The findings suggest that home return travel is more complex than previously thought. More focused sense of place and strong personal connection to ancestral homes may lead to more localized return, while a more generic sense of place (i.e. to ‘China’) and collective personal identity would result in a more dispersed travel pattern. Family migration history and strong attachment to family's first-migration destination also lead to focused return to the place. The study highlights the fact that place and place attachment are deeply personal and can evolve over time and space.

地方与移动性关系的最近研究表明, 人们在不同空间尺度有多重的地方依恋。但是不同空间尺度的地方依恋是如何影响移动性的, 我们对其了解仍很有限。本研究调查了多次访问中国的北美中国侨民旅游者对家乡的回访。本文对27位多次回乡重访的旅游者进行了深度访谈, 识别出了四种不同的回访移动类型 : 当地移动; 分散移动; 当地分散移动; 回访再次迁移地。本研究揭示了参与者地方感、地方认同与回家乡旅行的关系。结果表明, 回家乡旅行比预想的要复杂。更聚焦的地方感和强烈的个人故乡联系可能导致更具地方性的回访, 同时更一般的地方感(比如对中国的地方感)和集体的个人认同将会导致更分散的旅行模式。家族迁移史和强烈的对家族首次迁移地的依恋也导致更为聚焦的前往该地的回访。本研究强调了一个事实即地方及地方依恋是极具个人化的, 能够随着时空而演变。

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-376
Number of pages18
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Chinese diaspora
  • Home return travel
  • place attachment
  • place identity
  • repeat visitation
  • spatial scale
  • 回乡旅行
  • 重访
  • 地方依恋
  • 地方认同
  • 空间尺度
  • 中国侨民


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