Tourists think hitchhiking is like an "adult initiation test" and they are safe in New Zealand, a local tourism operator says.
A murder of a hitchhiker is a rare occurrence in New Zealand, but the dangers of hitchhiking have been well publicised.
Swaggers Backpacker owner Agra Davies said for years she had been discouraging backpackers from hitchhiking, but they were often difficult to persuade.
"Many of them are 18-, 19-, 20-years-old, they're only young ... It's like it's an adult initiation test, they think they are bullet-proof, it won't happen to them," she said.
"They all feel there is some stereotypical-looking victim out there and that's not them.
"If they insist, I make sure they are standing in the right spot and we have text connection. They can text me and tell me they have arrived safely. Then I don't have to wonder."
Ms Davies said the attitude of tourists had changed in the past five years.
"They only ever turned up in groups five years ago, but now there are a lot travelling solo, single and on foot. They'd sleep on the beach and freeze and not pay for travel than pay $20 a night to stay somewhere like here," she said.
"I say to them they should go home if they are travelling like that."
So what can be done?
"Only as they get older do they realise the consequences of their behaviour."
Two Malaysian tourists staying at Swaggers Backpackers, who had not hitchhiked yet, said they still wished to hitchhike around New Zealand, despite being aware another tourist was killed near Waimate.
Ming Teo who is on a working holiday, said a lot of his friends had hitchhiked successfully in New Zealand.
"They say it's very nice and they get to meet New Zealand people and hear stories so I want to try it," he said.
"New Zealand is a lot safer than my country."
Jimmy Yeo said he would still like to try to hitchhike, but he had bought a car to travel around the country in.
Czech Jan Zackl, who worked in Oamaru for four months and recently returned to his homeland, said the story had made news in the Czech Republic.
Translating comments on a Czech news website about the story, Mr Zackl said those who had not travelled abroad held the opinion that it was dangerous to travel to New Zealand.
"They say it is awful and horrible and dangerous to travel.
"Other groups are saying, she was stupid she went to hitchhike alone and they say, they would never do that," he said.
Mr Zackl, who hitchhiked once in New Zealand said he would never do it again.
"You never know who you can stop and travel with, like this woman, she was old enough so she thought that she is safe, because she knows the country, unfortunately she was very wrong and this is how it can end up," he said.