April 19, 2022

The Psychology of Tourist Scams with Tourism Expert Ding Xu [S5.E57]

The Psychology of Tourist Scams with Tourism Expert Ding Xu [S5.E57]

Anyone who has been to Thailand knows the old “Ohhh, the temple is closed today, why don’t you come with me to this gem store?” Despite warnings in literally every bit of content about traveling to Thailand, thousands still fall prey to this...


Anyone who has been to Thailand knows the old “Ohhh, the temple is closed today, why don’t you come with me to this gem store?” Despite warnings in literally every bit of content about traveling to Thailand, thousands still fall prey to this scam every year. But why??

To answer this we are joined by Ding Xu, a PhD candidate in tourism at Australia’s James Cook University. Ding’s research goes deep into understanding the culture, economy and psychology of the tourism industry as well as the tourists themselves. Putting hundreds of hours of study into the scams that are so prevalent around the world, Ding has a unique insight into not only how and why the scams are put together, but what causes a large number of tourists to part with money - sometimes a lot of money! - based on the advice of a random dude they met in a foreign country. 

Ding explains the four features that his research identified in being central to any scam - deception types, interpersonal trust, victim culpability and prevalence - to dissect how and why these scams are so ubiquitous.

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