Modelling visitor experience: a case study from World Heritage Sites, Thailand.

Daengbuppha, J., 2009. Modelling visitor experience: a case study from World Heritage Sites, Thailand. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

The subject of this Ph.D. Thesis is Modelling Visitor Experience: A Case Study from World Heritage Sites, Thailand. The research is conducted in three historical parks in Thailand by using an inductive approach of Grounded Theory. This aims to propose a model of visitor experience of heritage. It focuses on experience consumption related to what, why and how visitors consume the heritage experience when they interact with the cultural heritage. The construction of experience, factors affecting experience consumption and patterns of experience consumption are explored in this thesis. It provides theoretical and methodological contribution to the knowledge in both tourism and management fields. The opportunity to collect data for this study stems from the three historical sites in Thailand by which grounded theory approach allows for a wider variety of data collection methods. The research had been conducted in the historical sites for over six months during October 2003 March 2004. The results presented in this thesis are based on a survey of 60 cases of participant observations with ethnographic interview and 180 cases of observation with visitors visiting the historical sites, and 48 unstructured and semi-structured interviews with visitors who visited those sites. The results are also based on a number of supplementary data such as travel journals, visitor books, and interpreted photographs written and taken by visitors who visited to the sites. Survey instruments for this study consist of interview and observation guides that were developed accordingly to emergent concepts during the field survey. The contributions comprise four major themes. Firstly, the development of the 'Visitor Heritage Experience Model' based on multiple sources of data conceptualised by a systematic analysis process. The model provides the insight of visitors' subjective interactions with the heritage when they were engaged in a consumption of experience. This study reveals the multi-dimensional nature of visitor experience which expands what has been reported in the literatures. It also explains the complex attributes of visitors' on-site experience in terms of process and components of experience construction. Secondly, the emergent of 'Interactive Experience Process' as a core of the proposed model, acknowledges the dynamic nature of on-site experience through a multi-phase experience process and multiplicity of visitors' experience consumption practices. Rather than acknowledging the tourist typology, this study explores the extent to which the elements of experience hold in different contexts and types of consumption experiences. The emergent theory can be used as a substantive theory to apply for other case studies involving visitors' experience of place. Thirdly, the findings of this study have significant implications for designing principles and practices of an effective and sustainable visitor management in cultural heritage sites. The development of the, Visitor Experience Management Framework' discusses the creative use of the heritage and visitor empowerment to provide interactive experience of heritage to visitors. It suggests the consideration of a paradigm shift and crucial elements of visitor experience management especially in sensitive cultural heritage sites. Finally, this study provides several conceptual and methodological research perspectives through the use of 'Grounded Theory Approach'. The applications of the grounded theory's systematic analysis process can be adopted by future consumer and management research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctorate)
Additional Information:A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of Bournemouth University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. If you feel this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:Social Sciences > Tourism
Group:School of Tourism
ID Code:13017
Deposited By:Mrs Jill Burns
Deposited On:25 Feb 2010 09:58
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:21

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