Chinese Tourists Shopping Behaviors

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Research Note

Shopping behaviors of individual tourists from the Chinese Mainland to Hong Kong Tsan-Ming ChoiÃ, Shuk-Ching Liu, Ka-Man Pang, Pui-Sze Chow
Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong Received 19 March 2007; accepted 8 July 2007

Abstract Since 2003, the Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland (CM) governments have established Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) which simplifies the process for CM people to visit Hong Kong. The resulting tremendous increase of CM tourists affects significantly the Hong Kong fashion retailing industry (HKFRI). In this research note, we study the challenges and opportunities brought by IVS for HKFRI. Recommendations are proposed and managerial findings are developed. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Chinese Mainland tourists; Individual visit scheme; Tourism; Shopping behavior

1. Introduction Since the Chinese abrogation of tour group quotas in 2002 and the introduction of Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) in July 2003, there is a rapid growth in numbers of Chinese Mainland (CM) visitors to Hong Kong which directly led to a rise in the total tourism expenditure associated with inbound tourism. Amongst the 30 CM cities where IVS was launched, residents from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing were the major visitors traveled to Hong Kong and a key motivation for their visit is shopping (Zhang & Lam, 1999). To the best of our knowledge, there is little published research done to identify IVS tourists’ shopping preferences and behaviors. In this study, we focus on the shopping behaviors of IVS tourists from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing for fashion products during their trips to Hong Kong. In the literature, tourism and its relationship with shopping behaviors have been investigated, and there are many studies trying to define tourism typologies. Under the ÃCorresponding author. Room ST710, ITC, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel.: +852 2766 6450. E-mail address: jason.choi@inet.polyu.edu.hk (T.-M. Choi).

four-type tourism typology proposed by Littrell et al. (1994) and according to Yuan and McDonald (1990), CM tourists mainly belong to the styles ‘‘Ethnic, Arts & People’’ and ‘‘Urban Entertainment’’, as they tend to spend a comparatively large proportion of their time on fashion shopping during the trips. Besides, they enjoy having interactions with salespeople, particularly those having rich product knowledge. Huang and Hsu (2005) summarize the motivations of CM travelers visiting Hong Kong and shopping is found to be a prominent push factor. On the other hand, they also reveal that time, language barrier and complexity of getting travel documents are some inhibitors for CM tourists to visit Hong Kong. It is necessary for us to have a better understanding of how the Chinese culture affects CM travelers’ behaviors. According to the theory of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 1980), China can be defined as long power distance, collective, masculine, and with high degree of uncertainty avoidance. In the study of Mehta, Lalwani, and Ping (2001), Asian consumers are found to be less individualistic and adhere more to social norms. Thus, the degree of consumers’ susceptibility to reference group influence tends to be high when compared to the westerners. Hsu, Kang, and Lam (2006) study the reference group influence power of CM

0261-5177/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2007.07.009 Please cite this article as: Choi, T.-M., et al. Shopping behaviors of individual tourists from the Chinese Mainland to Hong Kong. Tourism Management (2007), doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2007.07.009

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tourists. Their result reveals that friends, relatives, and...
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