Motivations and Constraints of Chinese Backpacking "Donkey Friends": Mediating Effects of Negotiation Strategies
The Chinese backpacking market is rapidly growing with backpackers affectionately referred to as “Donkey friends”. However, few studies so far have explored the motivations, constraints and negotiation strategies employed by domestic Chinese backpackers in a holistic way. The constraint-effect-mitigation model (Hubbard & Mannell, 2001) was employed in a Chinese backpacking tourism context to determine a) the motivations and constraints that have the most significant impact on travel intentions, and b) how negotiation strategies are navigated when making travel decisions. 502 valid questionnaires were collected and the results confirm that motivations have a positive influence on backpacking intention and negotiation strategies while intrapersonal constraints have a negative influence on backpacking intention. The more interpersonal constraints backpackers have, the more likely they look for negotiation strategies. Negotiation strategies partially mediate the relationship between motivation and backpacking intention. For Chinese backpackers, relaxation and escape, destination experience, self exploration and improvement and social interaction are all motivations that drive them to go backpacking.Even though an interpersonal constraint is the most frequent one they have, an intrapersonal constraint has a stronger effect on travel intention for Chinese backpackers. Practical implications are given to help improve the Chinese backpacking tourism market.