Quotation Gnoth, Jürgen, Zins, Andreas. 2011. Tourists' Cultural Contact in a Northern Thai Tourism Context. 7th Symposium Consumer Psychology of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Chiangmai, Thailand, 24.05.-27.05.




This study replicates earlier work on the development of a cultural contact scale. It attempts to validate the uni-dimensional scale measuring the degree of cultural interaction which has been developed in New Zealand on the example of Maori culture. Furthermore, it segments travelers in a two stage process along cultural travel attitudes and motivations. Segments are profiled upon an array of additional psychographic and behavioral travel characteristics. The research follows a quantitative approach conducting oral interviews based on a fully structured questionnaire. International travelers of different nationalities were addressed at Chiang Mai International Airport before departure. A sample of 350 questionnaires could be generated with a higher share of European and a lower share of Asian travelers compared to the official arrival statistics. Due to the cultural specificities in northern Thailand (traditional Lanna culture and hill tribe minorities) the uni-dimensional characteristic of the Cultural Contact Scale could not be reproduced. Consequently, a sort of bi-modal cultural involvement as well as motivation dimension was used to identify cultural tourist segments along the typology proposed by McKercher (2002). Additional insights for the five traveler segments are highlighted. The study is not representative for all international travelers to the northern province of Chiang Mai. It has been conducted in English language only which probably impacts upon the exact understanding and interpretation of the survey questions and selects indirectly those with better language proficiency. The findings help tourism companies and destination marketers to better differentiate product offerings along different preferences for exposure to cultural experiences. In trying to replicate a measurement instrument from a different cultural context (New Zealand) the study demonstrates the limits of the generalizability of scales in the social sciences.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Tourists' Cultural Contact in a Northern Thai Tourism Context
Event 7th Symposium Consumer Psychology of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure
Year 2011
Date 24.05.-27.05
Country Thailand
Location Chiangmai


Gnoth, Jürgen (Former researcher)
Zins, Andreas (Former researcher)
Institute for Marketing and Customer Analytics IN (Details)
Research Institute for Supply Chain Management FI (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5312 Tourism research (Details)
5320 Marketing (Details)
5321 Market research (Details)
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