Development Strategies on Taking Thailand’s Health Promotion Related Tourism Business into the Global Market

Sinee Sankrusme

Abstract


The Royal Thai Government has made it a policy to promote Thailand as the Spa Capital of Asia since 2004. The Ministry of Public Health, in conjunction with the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board has adopted a five-year plan (2009-2013) to promote the health service business to turn Thailand into a World-Class Spa Destination with the cooperation of both the public and private sectors. The objectives of this study are to analyze the market regarding the promotion of health-related tourism (spas), the potential supply and demand, consumer behavior and visitors’ satisfaction relating to the use of the country’s spa services, strategies for the development and promotion of health-related tourism businesses (spas), the obstacles to achieving this objective, and suggestions with regard to the latter. The population of the study consisted of foreign nationals who used spa services in Prachuabkirikhan, Phuket, Phanga and Krabi provinces, with 100 samples taken from each province. The research methodology used in this study is both qualitative and quantitative in nature, in addition to which a descriptive approach was also adopted. The results demonstrate that, although spas were relatively well known among foreign tourists during 1993-1994, the spa business has enjoyed a boom from 2001 down to the present. The study analyzed both demand and supply of spa business. Most of the foreign nationals interviewed stated that they visited spas during their vacation time and stressed the importance of visiting a spa in planning their travel itinerary. In their opinion, compared with the best spa facilities in Asia, spas in Thailand would prove cheaper. The category of spa that was used the most that was the resort spa. With regard to the atmosphere of the spa itself, the majority favored a natural atmosphere. As for their favorite products, they used proprietary products belonging to the spa service center. Concerning the services the spa offered, they liked body massage the most. As regards their reasons for selecting a particular spa’s services, they did so in accordance with the quality and standard of service. For most of the respondents, their objective in using the services of a spa was to relieve pain in their muscles. It was found that tourists expressed a high degree of satisfaction with regard to their use of the spa’s services and as well as the overall circumstances pertaining to such spas. As far as the strategies for the development of this sector are concerned, these need to focus on management, market planning, competition, marketing and public relations, successful spa factors, and the export market. On the other hand, strategies need to be devised pertaining to the development and supervision of standards, export promotion and spa development. Also included are strategies relating to quality service and customer satisfaction. Clearly, the strengths of this sector would form the foundation of the sales strategies, while efforts should be made to eliminate or improve upon any weaknesses to be found in this business.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ibr.v5n11p83

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International Business Research  ISSN 1913-9004 (Print), ISSN 1913-9012 (Online)

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