Exploring Chinese Self-drive Tourists' Trip Routes and Their Satisfaction in New Zealand - Using User-generated Content Analysis
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Self-drive tourism differs from other types of tourism in many respects, such as the attractiveness of multiple destinations along the way and the importance of road accessibility, safety in influencing tourists’ satisfaction. However, little research has investigated self-drive tourists’ route selection and the factors influencing their satisfaction with self-driving experience, especially Asian tourists visiting western countries with different cultural backgrounds. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine Chinese self-drive tourists’ touring route preferences and what factors influenced their satisfaction with their perceived experience in New Zealand. Existing research suggests that natural landscape strongly motivates Chinese tourists to travel overseas. The research will also explore the importance of this internal motivation factor in influencing Chinese self-drive tourists’ satisfaction in New Zealand. In this research, qualitative data was coded followed a consultative thematic approach, and segments from tourists’ reviews were used to illustrate the themes. Specifically, this study collected a total of 200 online reviews (Mandarin text) on the ZUZUCHE platform, where the users shared their touring routes and comments about the experience after self- driving trips, posted from February 1 to May 1, 2019. After reading all the data, four main characteristics of nine selected popular trip routes were found to illustrate the touring route selection preference. This study also extracted 23 basic themes and seven organising themes in order to discover the factors influencing Chinese self-drive tourists’ satisfaction and the importance of these factors in Chinese self-drive tourists’ satisfaction. This study found that rental car types, pick up and return location, attraction types and the relation between the travel days and travel destination selection are the four key characteristics reflecting Chinese self-drivers’ route arrangements. On the other hand, the data shows that the local community hospitality and natural scenery themes have a positive influence on tourists’ satisfaction. Travel-related facilities, safety, road conditions, cost and itinerary exert several negative influences on Chinese tourists’ self- driving trips in New Zealand. However, because Chinese self-drive tourists’ internal motivation – fun and relaxation – is achieved through the high natural scenery experience in New Zealand, Chinese self-drive tourists are less affected by these negative influences, and are very satisfied with their travel experience in New Zealand based on the findings of this research.