Questioning the potential of tourism-related imagined contact in improving interethnic relations in Türkiye

Yücel E., Ekici H., CESUR S.

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol.54, no.6, pp.362-382, 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jasp.13034
  • Journal Name: Journal of Applied Social Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, Communication Abstracts, Gender Studies Database, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.362-382
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


With three experimental studies, we used the imagined contact hypothesis to investigate the efficiency of tourist-host contacts in promoting positive interethnic attitudes in Türkiye. Participants (ethnic Turks) were asked to envision themselves as tourists, interacting with a local minority member (either a Kurd or an Armenian) in the imagined destination place. We manipulated three variables: contact type (standard vs. friendship-fostering contact), tourism form (domestic vs. international), and tourist-host hierarchy. Study 1 (N = 261) and Study 3 (N = 284) examined attitudes toward Kurds, whereas Study 2 (N = 324) focused on views toward Armenians. An imagined interethnic contact with friendship potential in the domestic tourism setting (compared to an imagined trip without contact) produced higher approach intentions toward Kurds and Armenians, greater support for multiculturalism, and more positive affect toward Armenians. Surprisingly, when tourism-related imagined interactions were hierarchical (i.e., tourist-service personnel interaction) rather than egalitarian (i.e., tourist–resident interaction), they elicited more support for multiculturalism and higher approach intentions toward Kurds. Based on our findings, we propose tourism-based imagined contact as a novel intervention technique for promoting more harmonious interethnic relations, particularly by incorporating friendship potential.