Chinese working holiday makers in New Zealand: expectations, experiences and outcomes
Young people from Mainland China do not have many opportunities to embark on a working holiday journey compared to most Western countries, or even some other Asian regions, like Hong Kong or Taiwan. Nowadays, these opportunities are increasing for Chinese youth, so is research interest in Chinese working holiday makers (WHMs). Therefore, this thesis focuses on Chinese WHMs in the ‘host country’ of New Zealand, aiming to understand their needs, yearnings and expectations, work-and-travel encounters as well as the outcomes and (potential) transformations from their experiences. The methodology part of the thesis is based on fieldwork undertaken in New Zealand. This thesis incorporates qualitative materials collected by means of semi-structured interviews, personal participation, research diaries, and informal observation in the ‘field’. This thesis aims to offer detailed descriptions of working holiday experiences of thirty-four Chinese WHMs in New Zealand. This thesis provides a holistic picture of Chinese WHMs in New Zealand through thematic analysis. The thesis firstly addresses what yearnings that young Chinese had can be satisfied by embarking on a working holiday journey. In terms of WHMs’ working holiday experiences, this thesis highlights the challenging moments and working dynamics of being a worker in New Zealand and illustrates how Chinese WHMs have travelled by means of their specific employment or working intervals. Concerning their transformations, the thesis discusses how Chinese WHMs shape their sense of self, acquire new skills and expand their worldview during the journey. This thesis integrates social and cultural contexts of China with the traditional gendered roles in Chinese society to better understanding the overall experiences of Chinese WHMs. Above all, this thesis provides a comprehensive understanding of the emerging phenomenon of Chinese WHMs by focusing on their expectations, working holiday experiences and their transformations, which run through the thesis.
Advisor: Tucker, Hazel; Duncan, Tara
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Tourism
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Chinese tourists, young Chinese, working holiday makers, working holiday scheme, expectations, transformation, Chinese culture, New Zealand
Research Type: Thesis