Understanding resort hotel clientele through segmentation: a study of Thailand

  • Jiraporn Chomsuan

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    Tourist resort hotels have been considered a fundamental leisure tourism product in recent decades. Resort style hotels are becoming popular accommodation options in the tourism industry all around the world, as a result of the special services and functions they offer. Resort hoteliers need to understand their customers well so that they can provide better service than their competitors, thereby attracting and retaining customers. One way for resort hoteliers to gain a better understanding of their customers is via segmentation: subdividing a large resort tourist market into clearly identifiable segments for the purpose of responding to the expectations of resort guests in the targeted segment. This thesis presents research into segmentation of resort tourists visiting Thailand. The distinct segments are identified based on their push factors (tourists’ underlying reason to travel),and they are profiled with respect to demographics and travel behaviour. Additionally, each segment is considered in relation to the importance of pull factors (resort hotel attributes, products and services provided, and activities) and the tourists’ opinions of the resorts they chose to stay in. Tourists who were visiting beach resorts located in the popular destinations of Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Ranong and Chonburi from May to August 2012 were asked to complete a survey divided into five sections: (1) the main reason they travelled (push factors),(2) the resort’s attractions that influenced them to choose it (pull factors),(3) the activities they were interested in participating in while they stayed at the resort,(4) their opinions regarding the resort they chose, and (5) personal demographic data. A total of 320 usable questionnaires were analysed. Factor analysis was employed to discover the pattern of motivation variables (push factors),and then the K-means method of cluster classification was used to group tourists into similar clusters. The findings suggest tourists visiting resort hotels in Thailand can be segmented into four distinct clusters on the basis of their travel motivations (push factors): Escaper tourists, Conventional vacationers, Challenge journeyers and Spoil me travellers. The implication of identifying these four clusters is that resort hotel businesses need to choose the right target segment and apply suitable marketing strategies to each segment.
    Date of Award2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDeborah Blackman (Supervisor) & Raechel Johns (Supervisor)

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