Tempting the Chinese Dragon: Political Economy of Chinese Tourism to New Zealand
This thesis explores the international political economy (IPE) of outbound Chinese tourism within the context of New Zealand. New Zealand as a case study shows the impact of tourism changes on a nation reliant on tourism. It demonstrates the growing impact of China as an international economic and political power. It utilizes a mixed method approach to conduct a document-based and literature-based investigation and concludes Chinese tourism is reshaping the New Zealand political economy. New Zealand marketing strategies have shifted to cater to the Chinese market but could expand to meet these different interests, including culturescapes and collectivism. The economic impact of Chinese tourism has been broadly positive for New Zealand but far more could be done to leverage tourism. New Zealand is an expensive destination and could target high value tourists. This would require more quality offerings and making full use of the linkages between tourism and trade. More can be done to maximise the value added by e-commerce post visitation. The growth of Chinese tourism has uncovered deficiencies in New Zealand and stimulated debates around how to ensure the New Zealand tourism industry is sustainable. New Zealand policymakers and commentators are debating how to shift tourists to the shoulder seasons and the regions and how to maintain sustainable tourism numbers. The rise of Chinese inbound tourism to New Zealand has also uncovered an infrastructure deficit. By examining the overall state of Chinese tourism to New Zealand, this thesis creates a comprehensive assessment of how Chinese outbound tourism is shaping New Zealand’s political economy.