'Gap Year' in China: views from the participants and implications for the future

Wu, Mao-Ying, Pearce, Philip, Huang, Keji, and Fan, Tingting (2015) 'Gap Year' in China: views from the participants and implications for the future. Current Issues in Tourism, 18 (2). pp. 158-174.

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The present study is one of the first to assess the characteristics and consider the implications of the emerging gap year phenomenon within China. More specifically, the research answers three questions: (1) Who are the Chinese gap year takers? (2) What motivates the Chinese gap year participants' involvement in the new activity? and (3) How does the concept of a Chinese gap year differ from its Western counterpart? A netnographic study of 103 blogs was followed by 18 in-depth telephone interviews. The findings were compared with existing knowledge from studies about the Western gap year participants. It was found that individuals taking a Chinese gap year differed from their western counterparts both in demographic and behavioural terms. The type of gap year (career gap vs. pre-university gap) and forces from within the broader Chinese cultural context are producing a growing, distinctive and positively perceived travel phenomenon. The present study offers initial implications for international tourism marketing, as well as posing questions about the flexibility of educational programmes and human resource management in China; all of these interest groups might be able to meet the needs of this emerging niche market more creatively.

Item ID: 43155
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1747-7603
Keywords: gap year; China; concept; motivations; netnography
Date Deposited: 28 May 2016 11:06
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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