A cultural framing of nature: Chinese tourists' motivations for, expectations of, and satisfaction with, their New Zealand tourist experience
The Chinese holiday market has become very important to the New Zealand tourism industry. Understanding Chinese tourists’ needs is therefore crucial for the future development of this market. Existing research suggests that for Chinese visitors, like other market segments, the natural landscape has a strong influence over the decision to travel to New Zealand. There is an emerging concern, however, that the country’s tourism product must diversify, and attention is now shifting to utilize the appeal of culture and heritage attractions in New Zealand, particularly Maori cultural products. This article reports on research into Chinese tourists’ motivations, expectations, and behavior with respect to their travel in New Zealand. Particular emphasis is given to an exploration of the relative importance of nature and culture to these Chinese tourists. Findings suggest that the Chinese market may be particularly suited to a culturally oriented experience of New Zealand, but one based less on Maori culture as it is often portrayed to tourists (e.g., cultural performances, or experiencing a hangi), and more on the opportunities to learn about Maori stories and legends as part of visiting natural environments. The implications of these findings for shaping the Chinese tourist gaze in New Zealand are discussed.... [Show full abstract]
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