Exploring Chinese Visitor Perspectives of Māori Indigenous Tourism
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Māori tourism is a key sector in differentiating New Zealand in the global tourism industry. Māori tourism provides for unique experiences for visitors showcasing culture as well as being a key industry for Māori economic development. At present, Chinese visitors are the second largest international tourist market and highest spenders in New Zealand. That is because New Zealand prides itself upon its natural landscapes and unique Māori indigenous culture, which attracts Chinese visitors to the country. While there is a focus on the Chinese market by Tourism New Zealand, there is not a lot of information on Chinese perspectives particular to Māori tourism destinations. Through a review of Māori tourism literature, the scope of what is Māori tourism was established. Two categories of Māori tourism supported selection of two case studies. The first case selected was a cluster of tourism businesses owned by the tribal grouping of Ngāi Tahu and the second case is a grouping of four Māori tourism villages in Rotorua. This study analysed the relationship between Māori tourism and the Chinese market from Chinese visitor perspectives. Through a netnographic approach, this study explored Chinese visitor perspectives analysing web based Chinese visitor feedback. The on-line content and literature review provided further insight into this important tourist market in New Zealand. This study combined literature review and visitor’s feedback to explore key themes to visitor satisfaction. The key findings highlight that overall Māori tourism has high satisfaction ratings from Chinese visitors. For them, Māori tourism is not just a simple travelling activity, it involves cultural, natural, recreational and educational aspects. The outcome of this study can help to further understand the Chinese experiences and provide a perspective on the requirements of Māori tourism development.