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Title: A comparative study of international backpackers in Taiwan: travel motivations, behaviour and national cultural influences
Author: Huang, Feng Yi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3583 1881
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis addresses a number of new and unexplored issues in the context of the / macro-regional origins of backpackers and their backpacking behaviour. It attempts to make a contribution to the understanding of an important contemporary tourism ' phenomenon, backpacker travel. The study builds on previous research and conceptual frameworks, whilst recognising that earlier research neglected some aspects of the travel motivations and attitudes of independ~nt travellers. It is particularly interested in the cultural diversity of macro-regional and national groups which potentially exercise a significant influence on contemporary backpacker travel and consumption. With the aim .1 ........ .. J_ .~ of making a compar?tive study of Western ana Asian backpackers' motivations and behaviour, the work attempts to establish a more precise understanding of the complex ., associations incorporating national cultural values, perceptions and travel- related issues in the context ofbackpacker tourism. This thesis outlines some of the distinctive perceptions and decision-making of backpacker travel and consumption. Throughout, a variety of primary and secondary data have been employed. The latter type of data collection was initially obtained from a number of government reports, organisations and other companies related to the tourism industry. A combination of questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews were undertaken. The data from the questionnaire survey (n=440) were' analysed using a series of statistical techniques, such as Chi-Square, Factor Analysis, Correspondence Analysis and Kruskal-Wallis test. This quantitative approach provided the basis for conducting a follow-up in-depth interview survey (n=23). The detailed backpacking behavioural aspects of national groups and macro-regional backpackers in Taiwan were explored through the in-depth'interviews. From this research, although there are many aspects of travel motives and behaviour differed significantly depending on the cultural background backpackers are from, there is a tendency which shows that to some extent, the backpacking phenomenon has started to int.egrate diverse behavioural patterns into becoming m.ore homogenous. Backpackers surveyed from this research has showed high degree of interests in purchasing souvenir fqr family back home and trying local food and drink. The main . . purposes of travel for the majority backpackers concentrated on learning culture, relaxation and meeting people. Rega,rdin.g the travel characteristics and decision making, the collective cultural influence on Asians appear to decreasing as East Asian backpackers planned the travel within a week and illustr~ted high degree of willingness of independent travel which involv.e long term travel and trying local food and drink. Despite the emerging homogeneity between Asian and Western travellers' behaviour and travel pattern, some fundamental perceptions and concerns for the travel between different national groups remained. The results suggest that the motives of 'pursuit of psychological well-being' and 'indulgen~e of backpacking' are associated closely with Asian travellers than other macro-regional respondents. It is also found that safety and security needs are more emphasised by East Asian respondents whilst widening the mind and mental growth are rated as the most important needs for Western backpackers surveyed. To conclude, the survey results have been utilised to examine recept backpacker travel propensities, and discover whether they are heterogeneous, or if there is homogeneity between macro-regional backpackers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available