This research aims to understand the differences between travel motivations, travel behavior of the ancient backpackers and modern backpackers, and their relationship to the Maslow’s ‘theory of hierarchy of needs’ by using qualitative and quantitative researches.
This research is divided into two parts, and the first part bases on a literature analysis of ‘Xu Xiake Travel Notes’. Xu Xiake, a Chinese ancient traveler, who was also the representative of the ancient backpackers, and his travel book, ‘Xu Xiake Travel Notes’ provides plentiful information on his motive and behavior of travel. The second part of this research attempts to understand the travel motivation and behavior of modern backpackers by using a quantitative analysis.
The results illustrates that ancient backpackers’ travel behavior includes the cheap lodgings or the camping, the local transportation utilization, local food consumption and the detailed itinerary planning. In terms of the modern backpackers, their travel behavior includes staying in the hotel or the youth hotel, using public transportation, and accessing the internet. The internet access is not only the main resource of providing the travel information, it also provides a place for travelers to share traveling experiences and suggestion.There are four perspectives of the motive of ancient backpackers. First, they are seeking to gain the knowledge; second, they are keen to experience different culture or folk custom; third, they enjoy the marvelous scene at different places, and fourth, travel is a kind of self-actualization and self-affirmation for them. Additionally, the four travel motives of modern backpackers are as follows, the demand for social respect, self-development, self-actualization and the happiness of experiencing new things.
The foregoing analysis demonstrates that the internet access is the main characteristic of the modern backpackers’ travel behavior, which is also the major difference of traveler’s behavior between the ancient and modern backpackers. Maslow’s ‘theory of hierarchy of needs’ is reflected in this analysis that the travel motive of both ancient backpackers and modern backpackers develop from the physiological demand to the psychology demand and then spiritual demand. Moreover, self-actualization is the factor in travel motive of both ancient and modern backpackers.