DESTINATION ATTRIBUTES THAT ATTRACT MARATHON RUNNERS: A CASE STUDY OF THE BANGSAEN21 HALF MARATHON
Keywords:Half Marathon, attractiveness, sport tourism
Marathons are currently a popular trend in Thailand as more people have become interested in participating in them. Consequently, many marathon events have been organized and located in different cities, thus offering runners many options to choose from. The Bangsaen21 Half Marathon is one of the most popular choices among runners and has been voted Thailand’s best marathon event by several parties. Not only does this event have an economic impact for the local people, but it also affects them socioculturally. More than 37,000 runners registered despite having only a 35 percent chance of participating. This study asked marathon participants to assess the appeal of Bangsaen as a preferred destination for a marathon event. Data used in this study was collected through questionnaires conducted in person. Over 510 surveys were collected and analyzed for factors that impact marathon runners’ satisfaction and their intention to attend the next marathon. The results show that four factors, including activities, attractiveness, amenities and ancillary services, have an effect on the marathon runners’ satisfaction, which consequently affects their decision to complete the next marathon. However, the research has not found direct and indirect impacts from available package and accessibility factors on runners’ satisfaction and intention to revisit. This research study provides marathon organizers suggestions on how to market their respective events based on participants' perceptions, as well as provides support to the community and stakeholders interested in attracting and marketing similar events.