The modern nomad in New Zealand: a study of the effects of the working holiday schemes on free independent travellers and their host communities

Newlands, Kenneth John
Johnston, Charles
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

Tourism is often described as having arisen from the Grand Tour of the young aristocracy of the eighteenth century who travelled around Europe for a period of a few years to further their education. Adler argues that, rather than seeing the development of tourism as an evolution from the young aristocracy to the adoption of the tour by the middle classes, the young travellers of today can also be traced back to tramping "a well institutionalised travel pattern of working class youth" (1985, p.335). The modern day Working Holiday is taken by a wide cross section of many societies travelling for a variety of purposes. The Working Holiday Schemes discussed are reciprocal arrangements between New Zealand and sixteen other countries (as at May 2003) that allow young people to work and holiday in each other's countries, for up to a year. The aims of the research are to discover who these visitors are, what work and holiday experiences they have, their motivations for coming to New Zealand and also to compare the intentions of the schemes, as outlined in policy found in cabinet briefing papers, with the actualities of the scheme, as reported by Working Holidaymakers, employers and community members. The study uncovers the background to policy decisions in the tourism / immigration domain. No research has been carried out on the Working Holidaymakers coming to New Zealand or about the policies that support this movement. It will be argued that Working Holidaymakers contribute both as a source of labour to many industries and as significant consumers of tourism product. Consequently this research is of interest to the academic community, government and industry groups including the horticultural and broader farming industry, tourism sectors such as hospitality, accommodation, transport, attractions and activity providers, and to a lesser extent training and educational institutions. The research focuses on the characteristics of a convenience sample of Working Holidaymakers. The thesis is supported by a small case study that explores the schemes from the perspectives of host communities and employers. During the period that the research was undertaken the number of countries involved and the number of working holiday visas increased significantly. During 2005, 36,000 visas were made available to suitable applicants from twenty-five countries. The growth in the numbers of Working Holidaymakers suggests that it is time to review the policy formation about Working Holiday Schemes and challenge the traditional definition of a tourist as a non-worker. Recommendations are made for improving the schemes, contributing to policy decisions and to for a wider interpretation of the term tourist.

Employment in foreign countries , Tourism , Business
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