Chinese Tourists’ Attitude Towards Road Safety in New Zealand
Li, C; Liu, C
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Road safety is a global issue that has been given more attention in many countries. In tourist destinations, a high rate of car accidents could negatively influence the market image in tourism. Self-drive tourism has become popular in China in the past decade. Along with the rise of the self-drive travelling trend, New Zealand has become a popular destination that attracts thousands of Chinese self-drive tourists. However, the number of car crashes of Chinese self-drive tourists has gradually increased, which not only endangers tourists and locals but also impacts New Zealand’s image in the Chinese market. New Zealand official reports show that the international drivers who come from right-side driving countries is the main at-fault group in international car accidents due to driving on the wrong side of the road and not obeying the ‘Give Way’ rules (Ministry of Transport, 2017). China is the second-largest inbound tourism market in New Zealand (Stats NZ, 2018), which brings huge economic benefit and promotes the development of tourism. However, the number of Chinese visitors in fatal or injury crashes in New Zealand ranked third with over 100 drivers in 2016 (Ministry of Transport, 2017), which negatively affects word-of-mouth advertising of New Zealand tourism in China. Therefore, understanding Chinese self-drive tourists’ attitudes towards road safety in New Zealand is important. Ethnography is employed in this study to identify the themes and patterns of online reviews posted by the Chinese self-drive tourists who have been to New Zealand. The results showed most self-drive tourists were young and middle aged who travelled with their friends. Lacking tourist infrastructure, poor car condition, and the weather were found the main reasons for road accident. The findings of this qualitative study have provided implications for New Zealand tourism industry and the government in managing road safety of international tourists.