Journal of Service Science and Management
Vol.09 No.05(2016), Article ID:70891,114 pages

A study on the motivations and Experience value of Chinese Working Holiday maker in New Zealand

Xiaohui Yang, Biyan Wen

School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China

Copyright © 2016 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Received: September 4, 2016; Accepted: September 24, 2016; Published: September 27, 2016


Overseas working holiday is an emerging, transnational travel mode for youth groups. That is, working while travelling, youth can subsidize the cost of travel by working during the trip. In this paper, it takes Chinese working holiday maker in New Zealand for example, based on literature research, in-depth interviews, case studies, etc. The paper reports results from an interview study of 10 participants who have completed the working holiday to New Zealand. This paper investigates participants’ motivation and experience value gained from this program. It is found that the process of making the decision of working holiday is complex, but virtually all participants viewed working holiday as a very positive experience. The evidence suggests that working holiday experience brings benefits but the process is complex, reflected in many ways. And the benefits have particularity and are closely linked to participants’ own experience and environmental factors.


working Holiday, experience Value, participant, Working holiday maker

1. Introduction

Overseas working holiday is an emerging travel mode with the young people as the main body, which is extended from the change of lifestyle. It has prevailed for many years in foreign countries. In China, New Zealand’s working holiday programme was first opened in 2008. Now, it’s still an emerging phenomenon of tourism, but more and more youth pay attention to and sought for it. Since 2008, New Zealand opens 1000 WHVs (working holiday visa) in China every year. By the end of 2015, the number of applications is 7000.

At present, there are 35 countries and territories which provide WHV worldwide for young people. But before 2015, only New Zealand opened WHV for China and the application place was only 1000 per year. From September 2015, Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade provided officially WHV for Chinese youth and the applications was 5000 per year. WHV, which was established to allow citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 to work and travel in a foreign country for a period of up to a year, encouraged citizens of both countries to make travel and cultural exchanges. Visa aging period is one year and just can be applied for once a lifetime.

July 8, 2014, the day that New Zealand Immigration opened 2014/2015 WHV, crazy applicants made immigration website paralyzed, 1000 places were quickly robbed. It’s said that some applicants have invited more than 50 friends and family all over the world at the same time to help them to apply WHV. Its fiery level is comparable to buying train tickets during the Spring Festival in China. The popularity of New Zealand’s working holiday programme is evident in the Mainland. However, behind this phenomenon, in the opinion of participants, working holiday program’s core values is for what? What is the effect of overseas experience periods of working holiday on participants?

2. Literature Research

2.1. Definition and Meaning of working holiday

Working holiday was first illuminated in 1965 by the Pape, who coined the term “touristry”, which means the combination of tourism and work, including professionals using skills to different places. They view travel as the main purpose, work as a means to travel, not for making money. Pape acclaimed that the most important aspect of this kind of working holiday is travel, and the work is just secondary, so it called “touristry”. Cohen (1973) proposed that working holiday is a form of youth travel, most of youth go to another country in the summer vocation and carry out a short-term work, most of which are low skilled labor [1] .

Working holiday is a new type of leisure activity combined with travel and work. While working travel including vacation travel and work, its main goal is still leisure travel, working is just to get paid. In general, working travel can be considered as a type of tourism activity. Over 30 countries around the world providing the WHV, clearly defined the standard of WHM (working holiday maker), while different countries have different regulations, agreements and restrictions.

Based on the above concept, this study believes that working holiday program provides the possibility for young people to travel abroad and to subsidize the travel by working during the journey, its core is the trip, and bringing more experience for the trip.

2.2. The development of Working Holiday

According to Pape (1965), Pearce (1990), in particular, Cohen “searlier study” (1973), early “working holiday” is that young people went from one country to another to travel during the summer vocation, as short-term unpaid farm workers [1] - [3] . They may view work as part of the travel experience. Formal working holiday system was developed in 1970 in the United Kingdom, allowing young people in Commonwealth countries of Canada, New Zealand and Australia to visit to Britain in short-term before beginning formal career and marriage (Cited from Wilson et al., 2010) [4] , which has become a cultural tradition in New Zealand in recent decades, a mitzvah ceremony, which is well known as “overseas experience.” The modern meaning of working holiday, as a form of travel, allows resourceful, self-reliant, adaptable young people work overseas to supply their travel funds (Clarke, 2004) [5] .

With the transition of time, a fundamental change has occurred in the element “work”. From the early stage, volunteering activities as the main constituent elements, gradually transformed into leisure-oriented form, work becomes a secondary component.

2.3. Working holiday Maker

According to Reichel and Uriely (2000), working holiday maker (WHM) is a particular type of traveler, who views travel as a primary objective, work as a secondary goal. This kind of group is not suitable to be viewed as general employment relations; they consider work activity as an integral part of their travel experience. Most participants who take part in the working holiday are students or young people. Because such people have less financial ability, they want to use the money earned in the work as the future travel fund (Cooper, O’Mahony, & Erfurt, 2004; Wilson, Fisher, & Moore, 2010) [4] [6] [7] .

Uriely (2000) [7] expanded the concept of WHM, divided it into four categories. "Professionals as working tourists", which is characterized by mature middle class tourists, such as business travelers, conventioneers and official sightseers. The trip is mainly to work. “Migration sightseeing”, most participants engaged in the same work activities in different places,usually have specialized skills; “non-institutionalized tourists”, who tend to engage in unskilled and manual labor in various fields as means to travel. Tourists in this group are referred to in the relevant literature by variety terms: drifters (Cohen 1972) [8] , nomads (Cohen 1973) [1] , wanderers (Vogt 1976) [9] , and long-term budget travelers (Riley 1988) [10] ; “working holiday tourists” involve- stourism-oriented tourists. They may even pay to be a volunteer in farm, the work of those who participate on working holidays may also serve their primary touristic goal (Uriely, 2000) [7] .

For WHMs, the dependent relation between travel and work indicates that both of them function at the same timein a certain level of the employment relationship, it may be difficult to distinguish work as the core, or merely a condition in the period of working holiday. But this form of travel, compared to traditional backpackers staying longer time in foreign country, will be influenced in varying degrees by the local cultural, social and economic and many other aspects.

2.4. Motivation of working holiday

McIntosh & Bonnemann (2006) point that experience different forms of life is the main motivation of working holiday [11] , the motivation is divided into six categories: 1) learning and education: lead participants to study; 2) life experience: the countries of working holiday are usually natural regions, different from the urban life; 3) out of the ordinary experience: different experience; 4) friends: make friends from foreign countries and communicate with the local people; 5) for realistic interaction and cultural exchanges; 6) self-realization: pursuit of inner self achievement and self-affirmation. Chen & Chen (2010) divides motivation into three categories in his research: 1) personal factors: including the real experience of local life and culture, enjoy travel and challenge. 2) Interpersonal factors: to give and get love and help, interaction with the local residents and cultural exchanges, encouraged by others, etc. 3) Other factors: want to have a special trip, the limit of time or money, to achieve organizational goals, etc.

Self-identity is considered as a core issue discussed in the research of working holiday and self-identity is the key driving force for WHMs. On the one hand, WHMs can be financial independent and achieve self-confidence. On the other hand, it is easy to develop a series of skills and obtain a certain competitive ability in the language diversity environment, so as to gain a sense of achievement.

WHMs establish a new temporary identity through the period of working holiday and become more brave and independent (Campbell-Trant & Seaton, 2011; Noy, 2004; O Reilly, 2006) [12] - [14] . Another major motivation is viewing travel as a way of escaping (Pearce, 1990) [3] . WHMs try to out of the ordinary daily life which is driven by work or money. So the pressure drives them to seek freedom, independence, adventure, and different experiences (Elsrud, 2001; O Reilly, 2006) [14] [15] . Working holiday brings "the opportunity of a lifetime", when they return home, backpackers will further transform their experience to the mature.

2.5. Experience Value of Working Holiday

Lv. Z. Y. (2009) found that a deep cross-cultural learning experience is helpful to cultivate WHMs’ independent thinking by the interviews with the WHMs who have been to Australia and the United States, Although WHMs could not change immediately, their life choices have been enriched [16] .

Zhang Q. Y. (2011) proposes that the most significant influence and harvest on WHMs are all set up in the human being in the process of working holiday, including the establishment of external friendship, and the found of inner self from others’ eyes, enhancing the understanding of the self and learning others’ advantages to improve themselves [17] . Clarke (2004) considers the challenges encountered by WHMs in practice are personal reflection, exotic space and slow life, all of which make them more conform to the age to some extent [5] . So when WHMs back to life after the trip, they are more confident in the ability to tolerate differences and respond to change, more comfortable with daily life and the pressure of modern life.

The specific value taken by working holiday includes social relations, that is, the interaction of close contact always attracts those seeking unique travel experiences (Heuman, 2005; Pizam, 2000) [18] [19] . Working holiday involves the independent development and international understanding of WHMs (Clarke, 2004) [5] . WHMs tend to get skills development through job opportunities, although temporary work may not directly be related to the future career. New Zealand's overseas experience shows that the cultural aspects of working holiday experience is significant, and even the core (Wilson et al., 2010) [4] . Working holiday provides a way for WHMs, so that they can explore their national identity and establish their independent spirit.

3. Research method

This research mainly uses the depth interview and explores the motivation of the participants and experience value of working holiday program from the perspective of the participants. On the basis of literature analysis, the study lists the semi-structured interviews, using semi-structured interview outline as a data collection tool. And the data was collected for the inductive analysis. At the same time, it is also supplemented by the participants’ representative blog and the report of working holiday experience as a case analysis.

WHMs in mainland China are the study subjects. The research uses purposive sampling and selects the participants who have finished working holiday in New Zealand. Through leaving messages randomly in the websites that most WHMs gathered, to invite the voluntary respondents. Finally, the interviews of 10 participants were selected as the sample of this study, and named the 10 participants as A to J in the study.

4. Case Analysis

Through the case analysis, it can be more complete and vivid to present a representative WHM’s experience. The selected object of case analysis has a great impact and demonstration significance among the group of worker holiday makers.

From officially opened to apply in 2008 until now, More and more people has known and been familiar with New Zealand WHV, the competition for applying visas has also been extremely fierce, of which a large part thanks to promotion by Wu. From the 2012 publication of “working holiday” to 2013 to participate in China’s famous television program “You Are the One” and “Who’s still standing”, Wu has affected more and more young people, make more young people learned this way of travel as the promoter of working holiday program.

Wu was born in 1980s and is the early working holiday participant. On June 22, 2009, he obtained New Zealand WHV, and then quit his job in April 2010. The same year on May 11, he left Hangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Gold Coast, and arrived in New Zealand’s North Island Auckland City on May 13 midnight. On April 6, 2011 he returned home.

In 2005, Wu graduated from Fudan University, Department of Physics, entered a Japanese trading company. Just like most people in this city, he lived nine to five life, worked every day, and was busy in project and customers. Wu felt tired of this static life and also felt this was not what he wanted. At the same time, Wu spent his limited spare time doing the things he liked, a planner in a publishing house and he was also responsible for the translation of a manuscript.

“Maybe as long as I continue to strive to keep fighting, I can become a supervisor, managing some staff, later became a house slave, with debt in my back.” Wu laughs at himself like this.

In April 2009, Wu saw a couple’s world tour story online, he first learned of the working holiday project from this couple’s sharing blog.

“At that time, I made this decision subconsciously, of course, after that I thought a lot and got more encourage to do this.”

Under China’s employment pressure of competition, Wu as a graduates of elite with decent work and just started career, selected to resign and have one gap year in working holiday, without any back-up plan in the case, it’s not only a departure from the normal track of decisions in China, but also a thing that a lot of people cannot understand.

Wu answers “This is human nature, but we have not thought about, at many times we put the work of the profession in a supreme position, beyond family, beyond the ego needs. However, think carefully, we head into the community from the age of 20, began a career, 60-year-old retired into retirement, in these 40 years, the job is never done, spend time to stop for a year, live over a period of expected life, listen to your inner voice, follow your heart, will it become a luxury life?”

Then in April 2010 he quit his job, left for New Zealand with $200, began his working holiday journey. In New Zealand, Wu experienced a different life and work, Opelika kiwifruit orchard picking, work-for-board in local family, vineyard pruning, prisons extras, Japanese restaurant chef, hunter’s assistant, cleaners at the University and so on. In New Zealand, he lived a hard but happy and carefree year. Working to save money and then travelling.

In the year of working holiday in New Zealand, he got parents’ understand, beautiful love and sincere friendship. More importantly, he was close to where he wanted to be, and he completed his first full-length mystery.

For the issue of return or stay in New Zealand, he chose to return home: “Before leaving, I knew I was to come back better.”

“When working holiday in New Zealand, people from domestic who I met have the same question: why have we not seen many compatriots? Where a thousand quota every year are gone? Later I found out that they were in big cities such as Auckland or Christchurch. Because they got more opportunities to stay in New Zealand after the program there. I do not understand that WHV is a visa which allows us to reach a broader world seemingly, yet they are limited to a new little world. Perhaps because some people think the domestic is too bad, so they chose this way, but if that's the only reason, it is not enough to let me stay in a foreign country.”

When he was in New Zealand, he did not break contact with domestic, so he back home after the end of the working holiday, he quickly adapted to the returned life, and after returning home, he has to return to the domestic life: to find a job.

“Although I did not struggle with finding job, but it’s undeniable that the accumulated experience before is still very helpful for the job. Back from Working Holiday, life seems back to the original fork in the road, I have to continue to finish the road. The difference is my mood, this year won’t simply disappear, but I do not know in what way it affects my future. A friend said, she did not want to try working holiday, because when she goes back to the previous life, she will be very miss the gap year and find all sorts of defect from life now. I cannot assert that this conclusion is wrong, but since there is no perfect life, I think some imperfect of working holiday may be compensated in the return process of old, traditional life. Theoretically the result would be like this, I do not know if work will verify this as time goes by. Life is constantly fighting, but also full of compromise.”

He believes that this year of working holiday cultivated his ability to heal himself, so he is relatively calmly face the same nine to five life. After the end of the working holiday, he has to return to reality, to find a balance between reality and the ideal way of life. As it can be seen, his previous work experience in the domestic made a major contribution for him to find job. The effect of working holiday on the development of his career more reflected in the impact on his own factors, such as characters, mood, ability, etc. When talking his change after the year of working holiday, he said:

“I think I could have the courage to face the world alone in the future. I took two hundred dollars to an entirely strange country, I has withstood the test of survival. This to me is a great encouragement.

Another gain is the understanding of the work. I used to think no freshness about work is a serious problem, but now I do not think so. Because hating a job does not mean you love life. Love life requires that we can be able to find interesting from the ordinary. If you can success that, working eight hours, you should be able to spend calm, because you can do something interesting in the third of your lifetime.

Those who think working holiday is very interesting have a misunderstanding. That is, changed the way of life, life will be different. But in fact, life does not change, the change of life derives from the change of yourself.”

For Wu, this year’s experience of working holiday makes his view of the relationship between work and life changed, his attitudes became towards work and life more peaceful, not as tired of the static life and nine to five job as before, and consider more about leisure time and his quality of life. In his spare time, to do what he loves to do.

In addition to the impact on his own life, the experience of working holiday also led him to the idea of promoting this way of travel, he also made this idea into action. After returning home in June 2011, he consecutively received a number of media interviews and television programs to promote working holiday. In addition, he also wrote a book which begins from his understanding and application of working holiday program, to really into New Zealand, the whole process of working holiday in New Zealand a year, at that time his sense and feeling and the relevant conditions of the visa in detail. The book called “working holiday: realizing one dream in a year”, this book was published in 2012. He participated in well-known TV show successively “You Are the One” and “Who’s still standing,” in 2013 and again publicize the working holiday program, which makes WHV extremely popular. So far, he has also been promoting the working holiday program in a variety of ways, such as producing working holiday promotional video, writing introduction for the subsequent books about working holiday program, creating working holiday special column in his blog.

5. Result (Interview schedule Is in Appendix)

5.1. The Complexity of the Decision-Making Process

The findings of this study show that the process of making decision of working holiday is complicated, many participants choose to participant working holiday not only for the single reason. Motivations of few participants are special, such as finding a self- sufficient way, immigration, making money etc. But most of the motivation of par- ticipants deciding to working holiday can be divided into three categories:

1) Enjoy travel and want to explore life abroad: the age of 20 - 30 is the stage from exploration to the stability in life and career development, so this group chooses to take the opportunity to explore the outside world and broaden the range of knowledge through working holiday at this stage.

C: I just want to experience life and go outside. E: I always love travel and advocate the idea of gap year. I could travel abroad with my own money by working holiday. B: I love travel originally, but I have been suffering from the state with no money or no time after work. I always want to have a long trip. Through working holiday, I could achieve the dream of long-distance travel and solve the problem of economy.

2) Escape from the current situation, change a way of life: because the domestic employment environment, especially living pressure in first-tier cities makes most of the youth live two first-line workers living every day in order to survive. Therefore, this part of the group oppose to this way of life and want to stop to think about their own lives and career development through the gap year of working holiday.

I: I was ready to change a job, so I might as well take a rest before the new job. H: I want to know the New Zealand and stop to rethink my direction in life.

3) Don’t want to miss the chance of a lifetime: the concepts of working holiday and gap year have been popular for many years abroad, but for China, until 2015, the country opening WHV is only New Zealand. In addition, one of the conditions for the application is under 30 and only once in a lifetime, so for those upcoming 30, they want to seize this rare opportunity.

A: Life is only once, such opportunity may be only once,I believe if I miss it, I will be regret. And work can be found again. Moreover, I also believe that it will be very helpful to find a job with this year’s experience.

5.2. Social support

In the relevant foreign research, the participants will refer to the social support, when it comes to their motivation. Travel overseas was accepted early abroad, so the participants are more likely to get social support and recognition. In contrast, under the pressure of employment in our country, the opportunity cost of gap year is too high, so working holiday, especially the transnational one, is the choice of a small group and less likely to get social support.

When foreign WHMs were asked: “who may influence your decision when you make a decision to go overseas?” Reply can be divided into two categories: one is the general encouragement, such as “my parents are very supportive.” “my friend urged me to go”; another kind is role model, such as “my mother told all her overseas experience”, “my sister has been over there”; “my friends. Tell me how great there is by email”. Of the 50 participants, 37 received the encouragement and 36 referred to the role model. Only 3 participants said their decision was made by themselves, without social support. (K Myers and B A Inks on, 2003) [20] .

In this study, when participants were asked: “if parents support you in this decision”, fewer parents are supportive, although in the inclusive and open today.

E: My mum is not supportive at first, what she can’t understand is that I quit a decent job and go to so far. That made her very mad. B: They didn’t agree at all, cause they felt it’s risky and dangerous.

5.3. Working Holiday Experience

In addition to travel, working holiday experience mainly involves two aspects: work and exchanging labor for room and board. Among them, work means to be employed by a certain labor in exchange for compensation. And exchanging labor for room and board means the participant exchange free accommodation with labor and no additional compensation.

Although there are no restrictions on WHVs for jobs, but most of the participants are engaged in labor intensive work or low level of service, with the seasonal workers, farm workers as the main.

C: Exchange room and board, open mussels, grapes picking, vine branches tied, cashier in noodle restaurant, cherry-picking, grapes pinch buds, cherry classification, waiter in a Thai restaurant, luxury store sales. F: Oranges picking, vegetable cleaning, vegetables packaging, plant Maori melons, opening mussels, grapes picking, cherry picking, part-time jobs.

This study analyzed the main reasons are as follows:

1) New Zealand’s government has considered the labor force gap of annual farm and temporary workers when setting the WHVs.

2) Until 2014, the policy requirements for WHV is that work for the same employer cannot be up to three months, so most of the offices work are not easy to find because of the conditions.

3) Most of WHMs are not competent to make local employers to hire them.

4) For WHMs, the fastest and easiest job is physical work.

5) A lot of casual factors and personal factors, such as personal ability and oppo- rtunity.

In the winter in the southern hemisphere, the off-season, WHMs can live in the local farms, hostels, using labor in exchange for free accommodation, no extra pay, generally working 2 - 4 hours per day. This way of life is also popular among participants.

E: it was really a special experience. B: I know the purpose of coming here is to experience. D: I can acquaint with many different people and listen to the things I’ve never known.

5.4. The Change of Perspective during and after the Working Holiday

For WHMs, working holiday involves a wide range of factors throughout their lives, including social connections, general exploration, cultural experience, the pursuit of stimulation and change, and changes in personal life, etc. Therefore, when it comes to the change in the process of working holiday, the scope is very broad. During the interview, the interviewer defined it in the aspects of social identity, self-value realization, and life attitude. The results vary from personal experience and background, and found that the changes of perceptive stems from the inherent differences in the level of consciousness of the own country and abroad, which makes participants feel shock and review their own ideas.

Social identity: comparatively, people generally pay more attention on social status in China, while people who can just support themselves are worth praising in New Zealand.

I: What most parents expect for their children is to read a good university, find a good job in our country. In New Zealand, people do not have too many requirements about your school and work, as long as you feel happy. Everyone is equal here. A Maori aunt said to me that she is very proud of her daughter making money by her own labor. In fact, her daughter’s work was clean up the hotel room. For Chinese people, it seems not something to be proud of. I also met a friend from Chile, he worked in IT industry in his own country, but then he was mad about skiing and wanted to be a ski instructor. So he quit his job and became a chef in ski field and snow shoveller, just for practicing skiing every day, when I left he was admitted to the coach. I suppose it seems worthless in the view of Chinese parents.

Self-realization: New Zealand is a predominantly agricultural country, compared to today’s China, people here are more comfort, less stress and pay more attention on their spare time, while in China, especially in first-tier cities, people’s lives substantially occupied by work because of living pressure, it is also generally agreed that work is a means of self-realization.

A: When I was in New Zealand, I felt what life like. I work eight hours a day, five days a week. After that nothing is related to work, I just enjoy life. It was a time when I felt that work was just a way to make money. But after coming back, the thought had also changed. I think that work itself also has the significance, not only for making money. Life is not just to enjoy itself, but also contribute our own strength for the operation of the world, and my job is to really solve the problem for others. So, now I believe work and life are very important parts of life, I should balance them well. Life becomes too monotonous without a meaningful job for me.

Life attitude: comparatively, people living in the New Zealand put more emphasis on the quality of life, closer to the nature and the pressure of life is smaller than people in China. Participants are clearer about life choices now.

J: I pay more attention on the quality of life than work now. Before I went to New Zealand, I have strong career ambition, but after I came back, I changed my thought. I believe that life is more important now, put more emphasize on self-space, which means the balance between work and life. D: I was a night owl before, but my life became regular in New Zealand. The perspective is very complicated, not easy to say, but there must be a lot of changes. And the one thing I can confirm is that I become more and more clearly about the life I want gradually, certainly not like the past life in China. Living there, I felt more freedom.

5.5. The Change of Participants’ Character and Ability

In this study, almost all respondents believe that working holiday experience is very positive experience for them. According to the result, when speaking the change brought by working holiday, participants generally give the positive response. The main content is related to the character, living habits, English level and ability.

A: My characters have changed a lot, I become self-confidence, more open min- ded, outgoing, and my English has improved a lot. F: I know what I want, what I can do, my strength and weak more clearly, I am not overconfidence and not negative now, I fell I become more independent, especially when I am making significant decision.

6. Conclusions and Suggestion

Through the findings of this study, the process of making the decision of working holiday is complex, but the main motives of participants are to go to see the outside world, to escape the pressure of reality, change a way of life or don’t want to miss the opportunity of a lifetime. Most WHMs will not view career development as interests of working holiday, and before leaving, they do not worry too much about the effect of gap year on their occupation career, or after consideration, they still choose to participant working holiday program.

According to the research results, it can be seen that the participants generally believe that the positive impact of migrant workers on their career development is greater than the negative impact. Working experience brings positive changes in participants’ ability, personality and vision, which will give them advantages for their future career development.

But this kind of influence has the particularity, and has the close connection with the participant’s own experience, the environment factor. And this process is complex and cannot be measured, more emphasis on autonomy and flexibility, involving the wide range of factors in the whole life of the participants, such as social connections, general exploration, cultural experience, the pursuit of stimulation and change, as well as changes in personal life and so on.

In addition, almost all respondents believe that working holiday experience is very positive experience for them. And compared to the impact of career development, more stress is placed on the changes brought by this experience in their perspectives on things and life. The changes of perceptive stemmed from the inherent differences in the level of consciousness of the own country and abroad make participants feel shock and review their own ideas. For example, they no longer particularly concern about others’ evaluation of themselves and pay more attention to the quality of life, the balance between work and life. Aspects of life are more specific. The main contents are related to the character, living habits, English level and ability, such as more independent, self-confidence, improvment in English, more willing to deal with people, more mature, wider field of vision and so on.

After returning home, most WHMs are willing to share their experience to more people through a variety of different ways to promote this form of travel autonomously, such as media, social networking sites, interview, write a book, video recording and so on.

In the future, I hope that more researchers in the field of tourism will pay more attention to the research of working holiday, and enrich the research in this area. Through the research, it can make the young people more deeply understand this way of travel and can make the decision more clear. In addition, I hope that the relevant government departments could provide more such a platform to increase the chance of youth groups to go abroad to experience working holiday and increase the number of cooperative states and places of the application.

Cite this paper

Yang, X.H. and Wen, B.Y. (2016) A Study on the Motivations and Experience Value of Chinese Working Holiday Maker in New Zealand. Journal of Service Science and Management, 9, 347-360.


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  16. 16. Lv, Z.Y. (2009) A Study on the Motivation and Influence of Cross Cultural Experience of Overseas Migrant Workers. Master Thesis, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung.

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  20. 20. Inkson, K. and Myers, B.A. (2003) “The Big OE”: Self-Directed Travel and Career Development. Career Development International, 8, 70-181.


Interview schedule

Basic situation:






Before departure

1) Education and occupation of WHM before departure.

2) How did you know this working holiday program?

3) Motivation: the reason why you participated in WH, what influenced you to do it?

4) Did your parents support you about WH?

5) Have you ever considered the impact of this gap year on your career development before departure?

6) Did you have thought of your career development before departure? Did you want to develop abroad?


1) Please introduce your working holiday experience in chronological order, including working experience and place you have ever been during WH.

2) During the period of WH, have you ever been forced to choose labor-intensive work because of WHV? Such as farmer, waiter or so on. Is there limit a limit of work?

3) Whether or not a new idea has been generated or some original ideas been changed during the period of WH?

(in the aspects of social identity , self-realization or perspective of present life and future life)

The influence of WH

1) Changes in the mind during and after WH? What do you think of these changes? Are these positive?

2) What do you think of the influence of WH on you? Positive or negative? Which one is more?

3) What are your changes brought by WH?


Gender, age (before and after WH),the period in New Zealand, present situation(living city, occupation and education)