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The purpose of this research were (1) to study the decision making process of Russian tourists traveling to Thailand; (2) to study the decision making process of Chinese tourists traveling to Thailand; (3) to compare the decision making process between Russian and Chinese tourists traveling to Thailand; and (4) to study the perception of travel agents towards the decision making process of Russian and Chinese tourists traveling to Thailand. This research covered both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Population and samples were 400 Chinese and Russian tourists visiting Thailand. Purposive sampling was used in collecting data together with a self-administered questionnaire. In quantitative data analysis, descriptive statistics including percentage, frequency, mean, variance, and standard deviation were utilized to analyze the data. Hypothesis tests were conducted by using statistical techniques t-test and f-test. For qualitative approach, data were collected by personal interviews of 10 travel agents targeting Chinese and/or Russian tourists. Judgment sampling was adopted along with structured interviews in collecting data.
The research results show that there is difference between Chinese and Russian tourists in Information search factor, Evaluation of alternatives factor, Post-purchase decision factor at the 0.01 significant level; whereas, there is no difference between Chinese and Russian tourists in Purchase decision factor at the 0.01 significant level. Finally, the author has recommended five strategies: (1) focusing on novelty seeking dimension; (2) developing referral programs, and partnership with tour operators in their home country to guarantee numbers of tourists, as well as providing special promotions for Thai tour companies supporting Thailand tourism; (3) emphasizing on Thailand natural beauty, weather, cost-value relations, overall costs of the trip, different culture, and a variety of tourist attractions; (4) developing travel programs that suit tourists’ needs and behavior and bundle some products together to show cost-value relations; and (5) maintaining goodwill of people and infrastructure and beauty of tourist destination.
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