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A Cultural Framing of Nature: Chinese Tourists' Motivations For, Expectations Of, and Satisfaction With, Their New Zealand Tourist Experience

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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 Māori 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 Māori culture as it is often portrayed to tourists (e.g., cultural performances, or experiencing a hangi), and more on the opportunities to learn about Māori 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.
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Keywords: CHINESE TOURISTS; CULTURAL TOURISM; EXPECTATIONS; MOTIVATIONS; NATURE; NEW ZEALAND

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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