|dc.description.abstract||The purposes of this study are 1) to define the definition and characterization of high-quality tourists for Thailand, 2) to analyze the demographic factors, tourist’s travel motivation and tourist behaviors influencing high-quality tourists and analyze the preferences and decisions of high-quality tourists, 3) to analyze the value positioning of tourism products in high-quality tourist attractions and; 4) to analyze marketing strategies for high-quality tourists. Use mixed methods research between qualitative research, In-depth interview is a tool used in this research to collect data from samples and Questionnaire is the tool used in this quantitative research to collect data from samples (who are generally foreign tourists traveling to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket) which consists of 6 topics.
To respond to the research objective 1 and 2, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), were employed to analyze the quantitative data of this study. To respond to the research objective 3 and 4, the content analysis was then used to analyze the qualitative data. The study research results were revealed as follows.
1) This study found that the definitions and characteristics of high-quality tourists consisted of 15 key aspects including: (1) Buy products/services from local merchant/provider first, (2) Purchase products made by local people, (3) Select services provided by local staff, (4) Use provider having a sound environmental management, (5) Use local resources (i.e., water and electricity) economically, (6) Give advice to local entrepreneurs to improve product, (7) Recommend the promotion of this destination to others, (8) Give honor (or not look down) to local people, (9) Respect local traditions, norms, and rules, (10) Pay respect to place and thing respected by local, (11) Understand/accept the difference in local culture, (12) Be careful with your body/action that may damage nature, (13) Minimize the waste to litter as much as possible, (14) Follow Thailand’s laws and rules strictly, and (15) Dump garbage at litter place/point.
According to the exploratory component analysis of high-quality tourists, all 15 key aspects can be grouped into 4 components: Component 1: “Reducing negative impacts from tourism” consisted of 5 observable variables with component weights between .545 and .830. Component 2: “Respecting tourism areas” comprised 3 observable variables having component weights between .823 and .833. Component 3: “Supporting local people” had 5 observable variables which had component weights between .581 and .775. Component 4: “Supporting sales and marketing” consisted of 2 observable variables having component weights between .713 and .811.
2) By analyze the demographic factors, tourist’s travel motivation and tourist behaviors influencing high-quality tourists and analyze the preferences and decisions of high-quality tourists, this study found that the demographic factors revealed that nationality, educational level, and occupation factors influenced high-quality tourist characteristics. Tourist’s travel motivation and being a high-quality tourist revealed that the push factors in the aspects of relaxation and relationship were the tourist’s travel motivation that impacted being a high-quality tourist. As for the pull factors, food is the tourist’s travel motivation that influenced high-quality tourists. Tourist behaviors showed that the factors of travel companion (in the aspects of alone and couple), type of air flight, type of accommodation (in the aspects of resort and luxury hotel), and travel expenditure affected being a high-quality tourist.
About preferences, it was found that high-quality tourists preferred accommodation proximity in the aspect of “near beach”, followed by “near midtown” and “near nature”. In the aspect of the hotel, they preferred “luxury with local identities”, followed by “simple as local living”. In the aspect of the size of the hotel, their preference was a medium hotel (> 50 but < 300 rooms), followed by a small hotel (< 50 rooms). In the aspect of travel destination, their preference was beach/sea, followed by city and underwater scenery. In the aspect of tourism activities, their preference belonged to local food, followed by sunbath, learning about local culture, and taking a photo. The type of souvenirs they liked most was Thai snacks, followed by Thai foods. The most liked type of tour was “private travel with your own organized”, followed by “group tour travel”. Finally, the most popular payment method was cash, followed by credit card. For decision-making of high-quality tourists, the majority of them made decisions in the aspects of tourism and service providers, information sources, and persons at a rather important level. The decisions in the aspect of attraction were made at an important level. Meanwhile, the decision in the aspect of “length of reserve” was made at the level 1 week ahead.
3) The development of tourism products for high-quality tourists needs to consider the demographic factors, tourist’s travel motivation, tourist behaviors, preferences, and decision-making of high-quality tourists to analyze the value proposition of tourism products. Based on the decision-making process, tourism products' value proposition can be categorized into 4 stages: problem recognition, information source, evaluation, and purchase decision, it was found that high-quality tourists desired to travel to find new experiences. Therefore, presenting a local identity by developing it into tourism products and services will fulfill the high-quality tourist experience. Designing events that were easily attended and secure made decision-making and participation easier. However, part of the decision-making relied on information from friends and close ones. Therefore, developing effective products and services will increase the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth.
In addition, the value proposition of tourism products could be classified into 5 tourism components: accommodation, transportation, souvenir, dining, and activities. It was found that high-quality tourists preferred privacy (in terms of accommodation, transportation, safety, and comfort). High-quality tourists’ top priority was eating local food, which was in line with the souvenir and dining that showcased the uniqueness of ingredients and taste. Therefore, activities related to the development of local food products should be encouraged to stimulate the shopping and a decision to travel of high-quality tourists.
4) Finally, this study proposed a guideline for developing marketing strategies for high-quality tourists that tourism operators should focus on. The analysis consists of 3 issues: marketing content, marketing communication, and marketing promotion. The marketing content from the preference of high-quality tourists can be grouped into 6 strategies as follows: (1) Product Differentiation Strategy, (2) Service Differentiation Strategy / Customization/Personalized Service Strategy, (3) Image Differentiation Strategy, (4) Story Telling Differentiation Strategy, (5) Eco-Friendly Differentiation Strategies, and (6) Strategies for publicizing the image of tourist attractions. The marketing communication based on decision making of high-quality tourists can be divided into 6 issues as follows: (1) Word of Mouth Marketing, (2) Online Marketing, (3) Influencer Marketing, (4) Event Marketing, (5) Network and Alliance, and (6) Agency. The marketing promotion for high quality tourist, which can be divided into 2 marketing strategies development guidelines as follows: (1) Advertising and (2) Sales Promotion, which can be categorized as a result of the strategy analysis in the following: Design a promotional package, Discount Strategies to Attract Attention, Tester Giveaway Strategy and Pricing Strategy.||th