Author: Li, Zhuo Catherine
Title: Pleasure travel of Western expatriates : a study of Western expatriates living in Macao
Advisors: McKercher, Bob (SHTM)
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2019
Subject: Foreign workers
Place attachment
Tourism -- China -- Macau (Special Administrative Region)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Language: English
Abstract: Two major forms of pleasure travel have been documented in the tourism literature: travel within the country of employment or to regional destinations; visiting friends and relatives (VFR) including travel both to and from the home country. Recent studies have started to uncover the patterns and travel motives associated with Western expatriate' pleasure travel, and a majority of the studies have adopted a quantitative approach. However, Western expatriates' travel patterns are rather complex due to varied migration history and their own adjustment abilities after their relocation. Since the understanding of Western expatriates' travel patterns remains limited, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, the current study intends to explore the role of a sense of place attachment in the pleasure travel patterns of the Western expatriates living in Macao. By answering the core research question, the study will identify the nature of Western expatriates' sense of place attachment; identify the pleasure travel patterns of Western expatriates in Macao; and identify the role of a sense of place attachment in Western expatriates' pleasure travel decision process and travel patterns. A qualitative approach has been adopted for this study. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with Western professionals who are currently working in Macao. The findings of the study revealed that the construction of a sense of place attachment relates to expatriates' previous migration destinations, and goes beyond the sense of affiliation to their home country and current country of migration. Four types of sense of place attachment for Western professional expatriates were identified, and there was a continuum of place attachment among the four groups, ranging from strong attachment to home country, and attachment to home country and Macao, to multiple attachments for those with strong attachments to a third country. The evidence of different pleasure travel patterns based on the sense of place attachment has been identified. Different levels of a sense of place attachment to Macao and one's home country were observed, which translates to the different patterns in travel motives and travel behavior. Regardless of their country of origin, this group of migrants engaged in more regional travel than home return travel. The findings in the study further suggest that Western expatriates' travel motives are influenced by their sense of insider or outsider status in Macao and their home country. The findings of this study offer both theoretical and managerial implications in the context of migrants' pleasure travel. The study not only broadens the understanding of Western expatriates' pleasure travel, but also identifies underlying factors that can explain their travel patterns. The results of the study offer managerial implications for tourism operators in the regional destinations to better design their tourism products to cater to the needs of this segment of travelers.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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