INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS’ EXPECTATION AND THEIR SATISFACTION WITH THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE IN BANGKOK METROPOLIS
Keywords:Expectation, Satisfaction, Experience, Shopping, International tourist
Although shopping is not the major tourist’s motivation, it is an essential tourism activity that most tourists take part in. This survey research used questionnaires for data collection from foreign tourists in various shopping venues in Bangkok. This study aimed to find out what shopping goods that foreign tourists from different regions bought as souvenirs or gifts and to examine and compare the relationship between the origins of tourists and their satisfaction with the shopping experience. This research also aimed to evaluate their satisfaction towards the shopping experience in Bangkok by examining the gap between their expectation and satisfaction with each aspect of shopping, as well as to find out the shopping aspects which need improvements by employing IPA (Importance-Performance Analysis). and finally to examine their comments and recommendations.
With regard to the shopping items, the findings revealed 11 categories comprising clothes, clothing, food product, souvenir, cosmetic and herbal medicine, electronic goods and gadget, book including musical instrument and sport gear, Thai silk and handicraft, suitcase, gems and jewelry, and home decoration item. Clothes were ranked first on the shopping list by nearly all the tourists except for the Chinese tourists, who ranked cosmetics and herbal medicine on the top of the rank. In terms of the tourists’ satisfaction, there was significant relationship between the satisfaction and the tourists’ origins. Their satisfaction levels were different region by region.
Out of the 14 aspects of shopping, the tourists were satisfied with only two aspects, ‘no price variation’ and ‘no bargaining’. Six aspects needing immediate attention included honesty of sale staff, reasonable price, culture representation, service quality, goods variety, and good quality. Improvement can be delayed for the following aspects: shopping venue information, money exchange, product authenticity, sale staff’s language skill, and uncrowded shopping venue. The aspect which could be ignored or needed the least improvement was friendliness of sale staff. Most of the tourist respondents were satisfied with their shopping experience in Bangkok. However, they gave worthwhile suggestions as follow: improving English and Chinese language skills of sale staff; increase of signs in Chinese; removing double-standard pricing policy; honesty of sale staff; providing more information on shopping venues in Bangkok; introduction of more local products; and improvement of shopping product quality.
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