Understanding the motivations of bicycle tourism in New Zealand: the case of the Hauraki Rail Trail
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This research looks at the motivation of bicycle tourists in New Zealand, and the underlying factors that motivate them. Cycling is a developing mode of vacation transportation and bicycle tourism is a growing niche market in the tourism sector. It is clear that with the development of bicycle tourism, New Zealand, as the travel destination, has received many benefits, such as economic, social and environmental benefits (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2013). Many tourists engage in some sort of cycling activity while traveling around New Zealand, to explore the country and enjoy the scenic environmental surroundings. The majority of previous studies on bicycle tourism is based in European research, such as the UK and France, and only a few focus on the South Island in New Zealand. For this study, a quantitative approach was adopted to analyse the motivation of bicycle tourists in New Zealand. An anonymous questionnaire with four parts was designed to collect data then analysed to discover different motivations for bicycle tourism in New Zealand, and the convenience sampling method was used in this study. A total of one hundred and two participants were included in this research. Christmas Holiday in 2014, and Auckland Anniversary in 2015 were chosen to be the survey time for this study. The results showed that the most important ‘push’ motivation factors for bicycle tourism in New Zealand were related to adventure experiences and the great environment, while the most important ‘pull’ motivation factors for bicycle tourists were all related to safety and the trail itself. The results of this study illustrate that the motivational factors of bicycle tourists in the Hauraki Rail Trail differ from previous studies. The most significant push factor is ‘Adventure and Sports’ and the most important pull factor is related to the trail itself. This research also found some significant differences in bicycle tourism motivation factors among the sample characteristics. This study determined that male cyclists, cyclists who use the tour coach as their main form of transport, and cyclists who stay at hotels, can all be regarded as a niche in the tourism market.