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Factors Influencing the Use of Dental Services by Foreign Tourists in Thailand

  • Chongthanavanit, Papon (Marketing Communication School of Communication Arts University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce) ;
  • Kheokao, Jantima (Marketing Communication School of Communication Arts University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce)
  • Received : 2018.01.28
  • Accepted : 2018.02.23
  • Published : 2018.02.28

Abstract

This exploratory research investigated the factors that influence foreign tourists' decision to use dental services in Thailand. The questionnaire was used to collect data from foreign tourists who used dental services in a hospital or dental clinic in Thailand. Data from 233 respondents completed questionnaires were analyzed using frequency distribution, percentages, mean, and standard deviation. The findings revealed that respondents were most likely to be Asian (54.5%) followed by European (33.9%), females (64.8%) aged between 26-35 years (39.1%), business owners (45.9%), and came to Thailand with friends (47.6%). Regarding travel purposes and contact with dental services, most of them travel for pleasure (52.89%) and contact the clinic directly through the Internet(63.95%) The health/medical services used included health check-up (34.48%), dental services (29.22%), and day spa/massage (23.23%). The dental treatment that respondents had completed or planned to do included dental check-up (29.87%), tooth cleaning (26.68%), and tooth whitening (11.41%). Based on the influence of $_7P$ factors towards the respondent's decision to use the dental service, it was found that the average mean score range from 4.33-4.15 which were at the high to the very high level of influence to their decisions. The people factor had the highest average mean score (mean 4.33, SD= 0.604)followed by the price factor (mean 4.32, SD= 0.651), which both had the highest level of influence. The physical evidence factor had the lowest mean score (mean 4.15, SD+0.752) which was at the high level of importance. It should be noted that the factor concerning the modern technology and dental equipment (mean 4.33, SD=0.606) and factor on the quality of service (mean 4.43, SD= 0.598) had the highest mean score followed by the total cost of the trip including services being reasonable (mean 4.37, SD=0.582). Regarding the country factor, it was found that this factor also had highest influence level (mean 4.30, SD=0.67) and affordability had the highest mean score (mean 4.39, SD=0.614).

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