|dc.description.abstract||Wine tourism is the dynamic interaction of the wine, tourism, and hospitality sectors. In China, wine tourism is an emerging phenomenon that has gained popularity in recent years. Predominant studies have focused on Western nations and little information is known about the Chinese market and its wine tourists’ travelling motivations.
This study addresses three research questions (RQ) about (1) the product offering, (2) the tourist experience in this market, and (3) the Chinese culture-related values as motivation—and their impacts on wine tourists’ attitude towards wine tourism. Findings of an exploratory study used 3 phases to answer these questions.
Phase 1: A netnography approach was used to respond to RQ 1 and 2 by combining product-level theory (PLT) and the experience economy model (4Es). Results revealed that, from the supply side, the Chinese wine tourism industry has mainly offered products at core, basic, and expected levels, even though issues and insufficient product offerings do exist at each level. From the demand side, the basic needs of customers can be meet. However, meeting only three levels has limited the potential development of this industry. The core product needed more customer involvement, as well as enrichment of the augmented product, to best position the wine destinations: enhancing educational, entertainment, and escapist experiences would benefit the whole experience and would increase future loyalty. Furthermore, the resulting proposed theoretical framework has identified the status of China’s wine tourism market as situated in the infancy stage.
Phase 2: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken in response to step one in RQ 3. “Xiao-Zi” (小资in Mandarin), or Chinese lifestyle/value, is central to this investigation. The findings show that Xiao-Zi is not just a reflection of existing lifestyles/value, but is a resource and a social-psychological motivation for wine tourists to participate in wine tourism. This study has identified the dimensionality of Xiao-Zi, revealing it to be a manifestation of the individualism that is currently growing in contemporary China—which was historically known for its collectivist nature. The analytic frames of Xiao-Zi motivations in wine tourism build on Brewer and Gardner’s (1996) three-level perspective of self. The levels of identities are concerned with individuals’ experiences. Through a Xiao-Zi lifestyle, consumption has intensified this identity into three levels: personal identity cognition, interpersonal comparison, and group-level appraisal.
Phase 3: Questionnaires founded on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) were used to respond to step two in RQ 3. The dimensionality of the culture-related values was identified. These are F1-Health and Beauty, F2-Positive Mood, F3-Xiao-Zi Manifestation, F4-Xiao-Zi Feeling, and F5-Face. The positive relationships between these values (F1, F3, F4, and F5) and attitude, and intention towards wine tourism were confirmed. The health and beauty value (F1) remains the most powerful predictor to attitude; attitude was confirmed as the most significant predictor to intention. The moderating effect of gender was also tested. Gender has a moderating effect on attitudes towards wine tourism in relation to Factors 4 and 5. This reflects (1) that Chinese people are becoming old before they have obtained wealth: understandably, health consciousness dominates the main values associated with wine, (2) that China is a masculine society: men crave release from their work tension more than women do, and (3) that the face culture is still the most publicized value when Chinese think of wine, as it is commonly associated with deeper relationships through social interaction.
The study makes several important contributions. (1) It empirically tested the validity of Kotler’s (2016) five-level product theory, which confirmed the framework’s suitability and enriched its content. (2) It extended the application of the experience economy in the context of Chinese wine tourism. China’s unique culture/cultural contexts greatly enriched the theory.
(3) It innovatively integrated the product level theory and the experience economy model and used these to analyse a newly emerged phenomenon, wine tourism in China, which turns out to be highly appropriate. (4) According to the researcher’s best knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to have provided an in-depth understanding of Xiao-Zi, and then to have identified its dimensionality of Xiao-Zi. (5) The study also developed measurement scales for Xiao-Zi, for further quantitative study. (6) The researcher added Xiao-Zi to the wine tourism and to the general tourism contexts, as the relationship between Xiao-Zi and travel has received no empirical attention. (7) Culture-related values have been confirmed as essential factors influencing individual attitudes towards wine tourism. (8) A mixed-method for RQ 3 has provided a comprehensive understanding of the cultural values which has benefitted wine tourism and which, at the same time, has contributed to the existing literature by enriching the picture of Chinese wine tourism.||