Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Xinran Lehto

Committee Member 1

Li Miao

Committee Member 2

Sandra Sydnor


By applying in-depth interviews with recent Chinese cruise tourists, this study investigates the slightly examined topic in tourism research—tourist-tourist gaze. This study examines tourist-tourist gaze as a form of non-verbal interaction and the focus is put on the emotional and behavioral changes of Chinese tourists in their gazing interaction process, the functions tourist-tourist gaze possesses and the impact of such interaction on tourism experience in the context of a cruise experience. The results based on analysis of interviews show that Chinese tourists have intense gaze interactions with other tourists in a cruise trip, during which tourists have a series of emotional and behavioral changes. The results also show that tourist-tourist gaze not only impacts tourist experience during the trip but also influences tourists’ life after the trip. In addition, this study demonstrates that in the cruise context tourist-tourist gaze possesses multiple functions but not works as a disciplinary power as in previous gaze study in tourism. This study provides a new perspective of tourist-tourist gaze research and contributes to enrich the literature on tourist experience and customer-customer interaction.