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Title: Exploring destination image : a case study of British traveller to Phuket
Author: Phakdee-Auksorn, Panuwat
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 0483
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2009
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This Ph.D. study explores the image of Phuket as a tourist destination. Image is critical to the success of any destination. A thorough review of the literature reveals that tourism is largely an industry of image, because it is impossible for tourists to sample the products before a travelling decision is made. As a result, great importance is placed upon destination image. Research has demonstrated that there is an essential relationship between a positive image and destination selection. Phuket is one of the leading tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. It is highly dependant on tourism as an employment and revenue generator. However, no previous research has studied the image of Phuket as a tourist destination from the perspective of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is one of the leading inbound markets for Phuket. As a result, this research explores the functional, holistic, and psychological attributes constituting the unique and common components of Phuket's tourism image. It also identifies the sources affecting the formation of Phuket's image, while assessing the likelihood of British tourists returning to Phuket in the future. Although the majority of destination image studies have previously used either structured or unstructured techniques, this research employs a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches. This approach is believed to offer a better understanding of the subject. Inteiwiews and a questionnaire survey provided the requisite information. 390 questionnaire surveys, composing both closed and openended questions, were collected, and 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted among a convenience sample of British tourists at Phuket International Airport. A descriptive analysis, supplemented by a thematic, content analysis, was applied to explore the image of Phuket. The overall findings indicate a positive image perception of Phuket amongst respondents. Specifically, they reveal that the functional image of Phuket tends to relate to natural beauty, people and cuisine. A warm and friendly environment was important to the psychological image of Phuket. Beach, entertainment and nightlife in Patong, along with Phuket Fantasea, stand out as unique features of Phuket's image. Word of mouth, followed by travel agencies, tour operators and the Internet were found significant to constructing the image of Phuket. The study reveals that visitors' holiday experience in Phuket was pleasurable and the majority of respondents affirmed that they would revisit Phuket in the future. Friendly, humble and ever-smiling local residents form the top most significant reason cited for re-visiting Phuket, followed by the location offering a multitude of activities and a relaxing ambiance. Although the results show that British visitors are satisfied with Phuket, they do reveal that Phuket's image is adversely affected by the burgeoning of sex tourism and environmental degradation stemming fi'om inappropriate tourism development. This thesis concludes with suggestions for constmcting a stronger image of Phuket, outlining possible strategies for image enhancement and emphasizing that urgent attention must be paid to correct negative aspects associated with Phuket. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed in the final chapter.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available