Only Time Will Tell : Unraveling the Temporal Effect of Negative Affective Encounters in Diaspora Tourism

Tingting Elle LI*, Eric T.H. CHAN

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the role of negative encounters, emotions and feelings in tourism and leisure activities. However, the temporal effects of negative encounters are still underexplored. This research consists of two studies that were conducted longitudinally. Study one investigated the overall visiting experience of 50 multi-generational Chinese diaspora tourists; study two interviewed 22 former participants who touched on negative experiences in their ancestral hometown eight years ago. Three scenarios of how these tourists re-interpreted negative affective encounters were identified. The findings suggest diaspora tourists’ perceptions of negative encounters transform over time, depending on their life trajectory, earlier experiences, attitudes, further exposures to Chinese culture and values, and the meanings they obtained from their negative encounters. This research is among the first to examine the temporal effects of negative experiences longitudinally, opening up for future considerations of the temporal contingencies of negative encounters in the tourism experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1202-1220
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number6
Early online date14 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

This research would not have been possible without the support of several Chinese migrant associations in China, the US and Canada. We would like to thank all participants who were interested in this project and shared their life stories. We are also grateful for the insightful comments offered by three anonymous reviewers and our handling editor.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • affective encounter
  • ancestral home
  • diaspora tourism
  • longitudinal study
  • negative experience
  • temporal effects


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