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04 JUL 2024 (THU) 14:35-15:05

A Governmobility Perspective of Hotel Staycations in Hong Kong


Miss YEUNG Hiu Ling Grace

(Supervisor: Prof Benjamin L. Iaquinto)


Abstract:

The Covid-19 pandemic left many prospective tourists stranded in their own countries and cities, resulting in a shift to local and domestic forms of tourism. Hotel staycations, combining trips away from home with hotel lodging, thrived in places like Hong Kong, Britain, and Australia. While Hong Kong reopened its borders on February 6, 2023, tourism has not fully recovered. The Hong Kong government and tourism industry continue to stimulate the local economy by subtly encouraging domestic travel, including hotel staycations. The approach taken in Hong Kong in creating market demand for hotel staycations provides captivating insights into how mobility figures in the governance of populations, including tourist populations and city residents. It urges us to understand “the (self-)government of people, governed through mobility, in more dynamic and relational ways” (Bærenholdt, 2013, p.28). Coined by Bærenholdt (2013), I apply a governmobility lens to explain how this re-regularization of tourist spaces and flows aims to revive the economy through strategically positioning hotel staycations as a desirable tourism experience. Tourism scholars have long acknowledged staycations, but more work is required to unpack the use of hotel staycations as a form of governmobility, or a way to govern through mobility and immobility. From the notion of governmobility, this research investigates local tourists’ hotel staycations (im)mobile practices and experiences in post-pandemic Hong Kong, using content analysis, interviews, and discourse analysis. How does the Hong Kong tourism industry conduct the conduct of tourists to encourage staycations? How do tourists perceive, perform, and experience hotel staycations?

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