Yaoi Media Consumption and Travel Motivation: Evidence From Filipino Viewers of Thai Boys’ Love Series





Cultural Proximity, Emotional Involvement, Thai BL Series, Travel Motivation, Yaoi Media


The Thai yaoi culture is getting a lot of attention in several parts of the world. Numerous Thai boy’s love (BL) series are a huge hit in Thailand and other countries. Despite the notable success of Thai yaoi and BL culture, there is less attention given to this topic in past studies and literature. Moreover, no study has investigated how yaoi culture may affect travel motivation. Hence, the present study examines the effect of yaoi media consumption on travel motivation of Filipino viewers of Thai boys’ love series. A prediction approach was employed, and partial least squares (PLS) path modelling was used to measure the hypothesized relationships. The study reveals that all dimensions of cultural proximity significantly affect Thai yaoi media consumption, and Thai yaoi media consumption was found to have an influence on emotional involvement and travel motivation. Emotional involvement was also found to significantly affect travel motivation, and, at the same time, act as a mediator between Thai yaoi media consumption and travel motivation. The current research offers novel theoretical insights about media consumption and its relation to travel motivation in the context of Thai pop-cultural boys’ love series.

Author Biography

Jean Paolo Lacap, City College of Angeles

Jean Paolo G. Lacap holds two doctorate degrees, a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD BA) from the University of the Visayas, Cebu City, Philippines and a Doctor in Business Management (DBM) from the Philippine Women’s University, Manila, Philippines. He is currently affiliated with the City College of Angeles, Angeles City, Philippines, as the Vice President for Research, Extension, and Quality Assurance. His research interests include film tourism, tourism and hospitality marketing, organizational behavior, marketing, and entrepreneurship education. 


Angelini, J. R., Billings, A. C., & MacArthur, P. J. (2012). The nationalistic revolution will be televised: The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games on NBC. International Journal of Sport Communication, 5(2), 193-209.

Anh, N. T. T. (2016). Regionalization through media consumption: the consumption of Thai and Filipino soap operas among Vietnamese audiences. Journal of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, 28(2), 175-205.

Babakus, E., & Mangold, W. G. (1992). Adapting the SERVQUAL scale to hospital services: an empirical investigation. Health Services Research, 26(6), 767-768.

Babal, Y. B. (2019, June 21). The other Far East: The Thai “boys’ love” series sweeping across Asia. Dizi-Mania. https://dizi-mania.com/the-other-far-east-the-thai-boys-love-series-sweeping-across-asia/

Baudinette, T. (2019). Lovesick, The Series: adapting Japanese ‘Boys Love’ to Thailand and the creation of a new genre of queer media. South East Asia Research, 27(2), 115-132.

Becker, J. M., Klein, K., & Wetzels, M. (2012). Hierarchical latent variable models in PLS-SEM: guidelines for using reflective-formative type models. Long Range Planning, 45(5-6), 359-394.

Beeton, S. (2010). The advance of film tourism. Tourism and hospitality planning & development, 7(1), 1-6.

Bohwongprasert, Y. (2013, July 18). Cultural connections: Prof Felipe De Leon sees links between Thailand and the Philippines. Bangkok Post. https://www.bangkokpost.com/life/social-and-lifestyle/360424/culturalconnections

Carl, D., Kindon, S., & Smith, K. (2007). Tourists' experiences of film locations: New Zealand as ‘Middle-Earth’. Tourism Geographies, 9(1), 49-63.

Carreon, A. (2020, April 27). What are Thai “BL” series and why are they suddenly exploding in popularity in the Philippines? Esquire. https://www.esquiremag.ph/culture/movies-and-tv/why-thai-bl-series-popularin-the-philippines-a2298-20200427-lfrm

Chang, D. Y. (2015). A study of TV drama series, cultural proximity and travel motivation: Moderation effect of enduring involvement. International Journal of Tourism Research, 18(4), 399-408.

Chin, W. W. (1998). The partial least squares approach for structural equation modeling. In G. A.

Marcoulides (Ed.), Modern methods for business research (pp. 295-358). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Connell, J. (2005). Toddlers, tourism and Tobermory: Destination marketing issues and television-induced tourism. Tourism Management, 26(5), 763-776.

Damanik, D., Wachyuni, S. S., Wiweka, K., & Setiawan, A. (2019). The Influence of Social Media on the Domestic Tourist's Travel Motivation Case Study: Kota Tua Jakarta, Indonesia. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 36(6), 1-14.

DeLorme, D. E., & Reid, L. N. (1999). Moviegoers' experiences and interpretations of brands in films revisited. Journal of Advertising, 28(2), 71-95.

Devlin, S. J., Dong, H. K., & Brown, M. (1993). Selecting a scale for measuring quality. Marketing Research, 5(3), 12-17.

Diamantopoulos, A., & Siguaw, J. A. (2006). Formative versus reflective indicators in organizational measure development: A comparison and empirical illustration. British Journal of Management, 17(4), 263-282.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Gammack, J. (2005). Tourism and media. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(4), 1148-1150.

Giles, D. C. (2002). Parasocial interaction: A review of the literature and a model for future research. Media psychology, 4(3), 279-305.

Gjorgievski, M., & Melles Trpkova, S. (2012). Movie induced tourism: A new tourism phenomenon. UTMS Journal of Economics, 3(1), 97-104.

Gong, T., & Tung, V. W. S. (2017). The impact of tourism mini-movies on destination image: The influence of travel motivation and advertising disclosure. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 34(3), 416-428.

Hahm, J. J., & Tasci, A. D. (2019). Country image and destination image of Brazil in relation to information sources. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, 3(2), 95-114.

Hair, J. F., Hult, G. T. M, Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2017). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling. Sage.

Hair, J. F., Risher, J. J., Sarstedt, M., & Ringle, C. M. (2019). When to use and how to report the results of PLS-SEM. European Business Review, 31(1), 2-24.

Henseler, J., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2015). A new criterion for assessing discriminant validity in variance-based structural equation modeling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(1), 115-135.

Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G. J. (2005). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. McGraw Hill.

Howells, J. R. (2002). Tacit knowledge, innovation and economic geography. Urban Studies, 39(5-6), 871-884.

Huang, X. (2009). ‘Korean Wave’: The Popular Culture, Comes as Both Cultural and Economic Imperialism in the East Asia. Asian Social Science, 5(8), 123-130.

Hudson, S., & Ritchie, J. B. (2006). Promoting destinations via film tourism: An empirical identification of supporting marketing initiatives. Journal of Travel Research, 44(4), 387-396.

Iwashita, C. (2008). Roles of films and television dramas in international tourism: The case of Japanese tourists to the UK. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 24(2-3), 139-151.

Jirattikorn, A. (2018). Thai Television Dramas, a New Player in Asian Media Circulation: A Case Study of Full House Thai. In N. Kawashima, & H. K. Lee (Eds), Asian cultural flows (pp. 167-182). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-0147-5_10

Kim, H., & Richardson, S. L. (2003). Motion picture impacts on destination images. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(1), 216-237.

Kim, S. (2010). Extraordinary experience: Re-enacting and photographing at screen tourism locations. Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development, 7(1), 59-75.

Kim, S. (2012). Audience involvement and film tourism experiences: Emotional places, emotional

experiences. Tourism Management, 33(2), 387-396.

Kim, S. S., Agrusa, J., Chon, K., & Cho, Y. (2008). The effects of Korean pop culture on Hong Kong residents' perceptions of Korea as a potential tourist destination. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 24(2-3), 163-183.

Kim, S., & Kim, S. (2017). Perceived values of TV drama, audience involvement, and behavioral intention in film tourism. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 35(3), 259-272.

Kim, S., & Kim, S. (2018). Segmentation of potential film tourists by film nostalgia and preferred film tourism program. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 35(3), 285-305.

Kim, S., Kim, M., Agrusa, J., & Lee, A. (2012). Does a food-themed TV drama affect perceptions of national image and intention to visit a country? An empirical study of Korea TV drama. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 29(4), 313-326.

Kim, S., Kim, S., & Han, H. (2019). Effects of TV drama celebrities on national image and behavioral intention. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 24(3), 233-249.

Kim, S., & Long, P. (2012). Touring TV soap operas: Genre in film tourism research. Tourist Studies, 12(2),173-185.

Koaysomboon, T. (2020, June 11). Everything you need to know about Thailand’s thriving boys love culture. TimeOut. https://www.timeout.com/bangkok/lgbtq/thai-boys-love-culture

Kock, N. (2014). Stable p value calculation methods in PLS-SEM. ScriptWarp Systems.

Kock, N. (2015). Common method bias in PLS-SEM: A full collinearity assessment approach. International Journal of e-Collaboration, 11(4), 1-10.

Kock, N. (2020). WarpPLS user manual: Version 7.0. ScriptWarp Systems.

Kock, N., & Gaskins, L. (2014). The mediating role of voice and accountability in the relationship between Internet diffusion and government corruption in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Information Technology for Development, 20(1), 23-43.

Kock, N., & Hadaya, P. (2018). Minimum sample size estimation in PLS‐SEM: The inverse square root and gamma‐exponential methods. Information Systems Journal, 28(1), 227-261.

La Pastina, A. C., & Straubhaar, J. D. (2005). Multiple proximities between television genres and audiences: The schism between telenovelas’ global distribution and local consumption. Gazette (Leiden, Netherlands), 67(3), 271-288.

Lee, S., Scott, D., & Kim, H. (2008). Celebrity fan involvement and destination perceptions. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(3), 809-832.

Lertwichayaroj, N. (2017). Hauchai/Y (The Heart of Y). Bun Books.

Li, M., & Cai, L. A. (2012). The effects of personal values on travel motivation and behavioral intention. Journal of Travel Research, 51(4), 473-487.

Li, M., Zhang, H., Xiao, H., & Chen, Y. (2015). A grid‐group analysis of tourism motivation. International Journal of Tourism Research, 17(1), 35-44.

Lin, A., & Tong, A. (2009). Constructing cultural Self and Other in the Internet discussion of a Korean historical TV drama: A discourse analysis of weblog messages of Hong Kong viewers of Dae Jang Geum. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 19(2), 289-312.

Liu, X., & Pratt, S. (2019). The Downton Abbey effect in film-induced tourism: an empirical examination of TV drama-induced tourism motivation at heritage attractions. Tourism Analysis, 24(4), 497-515.

Lu, J., Liu, X., & Cheng, Y. (2019). Cultural Proximity and Genre Proximity: How Do Chinese Viewers Enjoy American and Korean TV Dramas? Sage Open, 9(1), 1-10.

Macionis, N. (2004, November). Understanding the film-induced tourist. In International tourism and media conference proceedings (Vol. 24, pp. 86-97). Tourism Research Unit, Monash University: Melbourne, Australia.

Manalastas, E. J., Ojanen, T. T., Torre, B. A., Ratanashevorn, R., Hong, B. C. C., Kumaresan, V., & Veeramuthu, V. (2017). Homonegativity in southeast Asia: Attitudes toward lesbians and gay men in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 17(1), 25-33.

Mizoguchi, A. (2003). Male-male romance by and for women in Japan: A history and the subgenres of "yaoi" fictions. US-Japan Women's Journal, 49-75.

Murphy, S. T., Frank, L. B., Moran, M. B., & Patnoe-Woodley, P. (2011). Involved, transported, or emotional? Exploring the determinants of change in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in entertainmenteducation. Journal of Communication, 61(3), 407-431.

Mutz, M., & Gerke, M. (2018). Major sporting events and national identification: the moderating effect of emotional involvement and the role of the media. Communication & Sport, 6(5), 605-626.

Nainapat, P. (2017). Phet nai ko an niyai wai dai [Everyone can read yaoi novels]. The Matter. https://thematter.co/rave/sit-and-have-some-chit-chat-about-y-book-fair

Ng, T. M., & Chan, C. S. (2020). Investigating film-induced tourism potential: The influence of Korean TV dramas on Hong Kong young adults. Asian Geographer, 37(1), 53-73.

Nugroho, J. (2020, October 11). Thailand’s erotic Boys Love TV dramas are a hit with Indonesians, gay and straight. South China Morning Post. https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/lifestyle-culture/


O'neill, K., Butts, S., & Busby, G. (2005). The corellification of Cephallonian tourism. Anatolia, 16(2), 207-226.

Pan, S. (2011). The role of TV commercial visuals in forming memorable and impressive destination images. Journal of Travel Research, 50(2), 171-185.

Prasannam, N. (2019). The yaoi phenomenon in Thailand and fan/industry interaction. Plaridel, 16(2), 63-89.

Rajaguru, R. (2013). Motion picture-induced visual, vocal and celebrity effects on tourism motivation: Stimulus organism response model. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 19(4), 375-388.

Ramayah, T., Cheah, J., Chuah, F., Ting, H., & Memon, M. A. (2018). Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) using SmartPLS 3.0. An updated guide and practical guide to statistical analysis. Pearson.

Rasoolimanesh, S. M., Nejati, M., Lei Mee, T., Ramayah, T., Shafaei, A., & Abd Razak, N. (2017, June). Full collinearity as a new criterion to assess discriminant validity of composite (formative) and reflective measurement models. In 9th International Conference on PLS and Related Methods (PLS’17) (pp. 17-19).

Reijnders, S. (2010). Places of the imagination: An ethnography of the TV detective tour. Cultural Geographies, 17(1), 37-52.

Revilla, M. A., Saris, W. E., & Krosnick, J. A. (2014). Choosing the number of categories in agree–disagree scales. Sociological Methods & Research, 43(1), 73-97.

Riley, R. W., & Van Doren, C. S. (1992). Movies as tourism promotion: A ‘pull’ factor in a ‘push’location. Tourism Management, 13(3), 267-274.

Rittichainuwat, B., & Rattanaphinanchai, S. (2015). Applying a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative design in explaining the travel motivation of film tourists in visiting a film-shooting destination. Tourism Management, 46, 136-147.

Ryan, C., Yanning, Z., Huimin, G., & Song, L. (2009). Tourism, a classic novel, and television: The case of Cáo Xuěqin's Dream of the Red Mansions and Grand View Gardens, Beijing. Journal of Travel Research, 48(1), 14-28.

Schmidt, D., Zureck, A., Gradetzki, S., & Seel, G. (2019). Analyzing the Emotional Bondage of Serial Fans and Business Decisions on Series Extension in the Context of Impact on the Stock Price of the Providers. Financial Assets and Investing, 10(1), 25-39.

Singhal, A., & Svenkerud, P. J. (1994). Pro-socially shareable entertainment television programs: A programming alternative in developing countries. Journal of Development Communication, 5(2), 17-30.

Smith, C. (2020, April 8). Why Philippine TV doesn’t have ‘Boys' Love’ shows like ‘2gether: The Series.’ CNN Philippines. https://cnnphilippines.com/life/entertainment/television/2020/4/8/2gether-the-seriesfilipino-soaps.html

Straubhaar, J. D. (1991). Beyond media imperialism: Asymmetrical interdependence and cultural proximity. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 8(1), 39-59.

Su, H. J., Huang, Y. A., Brodowsky, G., & Kim, H. J. (2011). The impact of product placement on TV-induced tourism: Korean TV dramas and Taiwanese viewers. Tourism Management, 32(4), 805-814.

Teng, H. Y., & Chen, C. Y. (2020). Enhancing celebrity fan-destination relationship in film-induced tourism: The effect of authenticity. Tourism Management Perspectives, 33, 1-11.

Vespada, D. (2017). Chup plueai lae khwam rak nai lakhon naew num noi rak kan [Kiss, nakedness, and love in Thai boys’ love series]. In N. Prasannam (Ed.), Tell-Tales: Essays in Honor of Soranat Tailanga (pp. 269-279). Bangkok: Faculty of Humanities, Kasetsart University.

Vila, N. A., Brea, J. A. F., & de Carlos, P. (2021). Film tourism in Spain: Destination awareness and visit motivation as determinants to visit places seen in TV series. European Research on Management and Business Economics, 27(1), 100135.

Watson, J., & Jirik, J. (2018, June 20). Boys' love: The unstoppable rise of same-sex soapies in Thailand. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-16/boys-love-same-sexdramas-in-thailand/9874766

Xu, M., Kim, S., & Reijnders, S. (2020). From food to feet: Analyzing A Bite of China as food-based destination image. Tourist Studies, 20(2), 145-165.

Yen, C. H., & Croy, W. G. (2016). Film tourism: Celebrity involvement, celebrity worship and destination image. Current Issues in Tourism, 19(10), 1027-1044.

Yukari, F. (2020, September 24). The evolution of “Boys’ Love” culture: Can BL spark social change? Nippon.com. https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/d00607/

Yuqiao, J. (2020, March 8). Thai BL drama sweeps China, improving cultural communication between countries. Global Times. https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1181965.shtml

Zeng, S., Chiu, W., Lee, C. W., Kang, H. W., & Park, C. (2015). South Korea's destination image: Comparing perceptions of film and nonfilm Chinese tourists. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 43(9), 1453-1462.

Zsila, Á., Pagliassotti, D., Urbán, R., Orosz, G., Király, O., & Demetrovics, Z. (2018). Loving the love of boys: Motives for consuming yaoi media. PloS one, 13(6), 1-17.