Understanding motivations to visit New Zealand: a quantitative study amongst young Chinese FITs

Che, Lu
Johnston, Charles
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Master of International Hospitality Management
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Auckland University of Technology

This dissertation explores travel motivations to visit New Zealand by examining Free Independent Travellers (FITs) from mainland China whose age is in the range from 18 to 35 years old. Travel motivation is a critical topic in studying tourists’ travel behaviours. China has attracted more and more attention because it supplies a rapidly growing number of outbound tourists. More than ten years ago, researchers began to study the travel motivation of Chinese tourists. However, there is no study specifically focusing on Chinese FITs. This dissertation aims to explore the motivations of young FITs from mainland China to visit New Zealand in order to fill the gap and expand knowledge to travel motivation research.

This research adopted a quantitative approach, using a survey in the form of an anonymous questionnaire to collect primary data. The questionnaire contained three parts, including exploring tourists’ travel characteristics, travel motivation, and demographic information. One hundred and eight participants were involved in the survey.

The research findings showed that Chinese FITs came to New Zealand mainly to appreciate natural and cultural features, to relax, and to view its outstanding scenery. The beautiful scenery and unpolluted environment were particularly attractive to Chinese FITs. Twenty-seven motivational items were extracted into seven factors: “New Zealand stimuli”, “safety and cleanliness”, “experience seeking”, “exploration”, “escape”, “ego enhancement”, and “adventure and excitement”. The dominant two factors were experience seeking, and safety and cleanliness. Next, this research also examined whether significant relationships existed between travel motivation and sample characteristics. Firstly, factor 1 – “New Zealand stimuli” – had a significant relationship with level of education. Tourists with a lower level of education were more easily motivated by this factor. Secondly, factor 5 – “escape” – was found to have a significant difference among different lengths of stay in New Zealand. “Escape” played a more important role when tourists chose to stay longer. Thirdly, travel purpose was found to be different in terms of factor 2 “safety and cleanliness”, factor 4 “exploration” and factor 7 “adventure and excitement”. Tourists with the purposes of taking wedding photos, holding weddings, and honeymooning were more motivated by these factors.

Travel motivation , Chineses FITs
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