Main Article Content
The study of “The Cultural Tourism Development for Older Persons” has 3 purposes: (1) to examine and analyze opinions of older persons toward the cultural tourism development for older persons; (2) to analyze ways and the network of cultural tourism development for older persons; and (3) to propose policies of cultural tourism development for older persons. This mixed method research includes quantitative research methodology to explore and analyze opinions of the sample group of 416 older persons travelling in 12 studying areas of cultural tourism in this study, while the qualitative research methodology involves documentary research on cultural tourism and situations of aging society as well as fieldworks collecting data from 20 high experienced persons regarding cultural tourism management from different locations.
The results revealed that, firstly, the reasons for cultural tourism for most of the sample groups are family relaxation, praying and making merit, and attractive activities of cultural tourism. While the opinions of expectation toward cultural tourism for older persons, from the least agreement to highest agreement, expressed that the sample group similarly agreed most with the influence of entrance fee toward the decision of cultural and Buddhism-based tourism, then the suitable staff in cultural and Buddhism-based tourism areas providing proper services to older persons. Secondly, it was found that there are 3 ways to develop the cultural tourism: research and development of cultural tourism, stimulating Local Administrative Organization as the main host for tourism development, and expanding advanced and impartial tourism business system for tourists. Additionally, the results revealed that network development requires at least 3 essential associations: local network of cultural tourism, entrepreneurial network of cultural tourism, and governmental network. Lastly, this research proposes 3 policies developing and advancing cultural tourism for older persons: developing sub-region travel routes of cultural tourism for older persons, encouraging tax benefit policies for older persons and their family, and expanding information for cultural tourism for older persons.
This research presents 2 main suggestions: policies and research. The policy suggestion proposes the Prime Minister's Office to become the center creating cultural tourism plans together with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Culture, the National Office of Buddhism, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, by hosting activities promoting tourism for Thai and foreign older tourists. At the same time, the research suggestion advises the Tourism Authority of Thailand to encourage academic institutions and scholars in the fields of tourism and social sciences research examining behaviors, needs, and suggestions toward the development of cultural tourism for foreign senior tourists.
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