Domestic Tourism Experience of Indian Nationals Studying in New Zealand
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2017) stated that the number of international students escalated from 1.3 to 5 million over a span of 24 years (1990-2014). Apart from paying fees, international students also contribute to their host country's domestic tourism by spending money on various aspects such as accommodation, transport, activities, and meals (Payne, 2010). Payne (2010), Ryan and Zhang (2007), and Cloesen (2006) argued that the importance of international students to a country’s domestic tourism industry is under-researched, so there is limited literature on this topic. This research explores the domestic tourism experience of international students studying in New Zealand, with a focus on Indian nationals. A quantitative research method was used for data collection, using an online survey with 31 questions created in Qualtrics, and distributed to Indian nationals through Facebook pages such as Indians living in Auckland, and Indians living in New Zealand. Data were collected between November 2019 and March 2020. Data from the 70 valid responses were transferred from Qualtrics to the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software for analysis. The study found that more than one overnight trip was undertaken by 63% of the respondents. The findings further revealed that Indian nationals preferred to stay in hotels and motels rather than backpackers’ accommodation or other hostels. The most popular destination was Rotorua, and social media was the primary source for them to obtain knowledge of the destination. The findings also showed that students preferred to travel to a destination close to their place of study. The most popular activities undertaken by them were going to the beach and attending bars and night clubs. The primary motivation behind their overnight trips was to “relax,” “have fun,” and “chill out.” From the data collected, it was estimated that overall expenditure was NZD631 per person per trip, of which NZD120 was spent on meals, NZD139 on accommodation, NZD165 on transport, and NZD207 on tourist activities. The significant findings were that the Indians from polytechnic institutes and private institutes spent more than did those from universities. The results offered opportunities for future research arising from the limitation of the study.