VFR travel generated by international students: The case of Japanese students in Australia

Sho Kashiwagi, Hayato Nagai, Tomoyuki Furutani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market is one of the largest and most rapidly growing global tourism markets. Although much research has been carried out on this market since the early 1990s, these studies have largely been in the Western context, with Asian VFR travellers receiving little attention. To extend our understanding of the international VFR market, this study focused on Japanese international students studying in Australia. Through a series of in-depth interviews with 26 students, their roles and experiences as VFR hosts and the behaviours of the VFR travellers who visited them were explored. The results show that the majority of the students not only played important roles in motivating their friends and relatives to visit their study destinations but also recognised these roles. A number of unique behaviours on the part of Japanese VFR travellers, such as accommodation use and information searches, were also observed. The study's findings extend our understanding of the VFR market. The study suggests that international students are important resources for tourism practitioners because they can trigger international visits by friends and relatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Australia
  • International students
  • Japanese
  • VFR hosts
  • VFR travel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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