The development of domestic hotels in Thailand: "tracing the past, seeing the present and predicting the future"

Thanksooks, Jarujes (2014) The development of domestic hotels in Thailand: "tracing the past, seeing the present and predicting the future". PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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In Thailand, several different forms of accommodation have emerged in response to changing customer trends. The growth of domestic hotels is one part of this development. The studies in this thesis seek to document the origins of domestic Thai hotels as well as the present and the future views of these properties from the perspectives of guests and operators.

The work has adapted the definition and concept of the domestic hotel from the description of specialist accommodation types used by Pearce and Moscardo (1992). Specifically, domestic hotels are owned by Thai personnel and the tourists who use these properties are mainly but not exclusively Thai citizens. The properties considered are not part of a consortium and provide personal interaction between the staff and guests. The domestic hotels of interest often have a special feature (a heritage or historic value) or provide special activities to the guests. They tend to have a moderate rather than a very large level of capital investment.

In this thesis, the timeline of research was divided into three periods; the first section of interest traced the development of the domestic hotel in Thailand by exploring tourism growth in Thailand from 1962 to 2012; the second time period assessed the present perspectives of key stakeholders toward the current development of domestic hotels; and the third section of the work explored reactions to the future development of domestic hotels in the next 5-10 years.

The first study (Chapter Three) was based on archival analysis and was designed to document the development of domestic hotels in Thailand in the last 50 years. Secondary data concerning Thai tourism and hotel development were explored and synthesised to identify the influential issues and understand the development of the domestic hotel and the hotel industry in Thailand. Eleven influential issues were identified as being significant for the development of domestic hotels. These influences were used to develop further studies.

The perception of domestic tourists' (Chapter Four) and hotel operators' (Chapter 5) toward the issues shaping domestic hotel development were considered. Questionnaire and interviews were used to conduct the studies with 334 domestic tourists and 33 hotel operators from Prachaub Khirikhan, Chonburi and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces. These groups and locations were chosen because of their key roles in the domestic hotel sector. The analysis of variance statistical procedure was employed together with chi-square to assess the significant results in the data. In terms of similarities, domestic tourists and hotel operators had common perceptions of the importance of service quality, technology in the hotel, the benefits of domestic hotel locations, and the size of hotel operations. The hotel operators viewed the key influential incidents as the political crisis in Thailand in 2006 and 2010.

The third study (Chapter Six) employed a scenario approach to explore and summarise perspectives of respondents concerning future domestic hotel development. The findings, again using analysis of variance and chi –square, revealed that operators were more positive concerning scenario 1 (High Growth) and scenario 2 (Moderate Growth) whereas domestic tourists supported scenario 3 (Low Growth). The differences and similarities in the perception among domestic tourists and hotel operators toward the influential issues and scenarios were seen as both likely to shape the future development of domestic hotels.

Chapter Seven, the final chapter of this thesis, highlighted the core findings of each study. The highlights were then compared with the Tourist Area Life Cycle Model proposed by Butler (1980, 2006a) to understand the time-line of domestic hotel development and growth. Additionally, the conceptual value of several other key ideas in tourism development, inducting pivotal work by Cohen (1976), was re-examined in the context of the study. Thai tourism, including hotel development, has by-passed a stage of exploration. Growth was induced quickly and dramatically 50 years ago due to the American Military presence associated with the Vietnam War. Currently, the domestic hotel sector can be located in an "involvement" stage of development. Recommendations for the ideal future development of domestic hotels in Thailand were developed and presented.

In summary, the research in this thesis considered the development of domestic hotels in Thailand and added insights to the study of the wider tourism and entertainment sector. Additionally, the study provided a comprehensive account of the influential forces shaping current and future domestic hotel growth in three key regions of Thailand. This thesis also recommended the study of the future development of domestic hotels in other locations across Thailand and for other Southeast Asian countries.

Item ID: 40576
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: hospitality management; hospitality services; hospitality; hotels; impact of tourism; Thailand; tourism
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2015 03:05
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1504 Commercial Services > 150402 Hospitality Management @ 50%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150601 Impacts of Tourism @ 50%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9099 Other Commercial Services and Tourism > 909901 Hospitality Services @ 100%
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