AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT-INDUCED VFR TRAVEL IN THAILAND – A PERSPECTIVE OF HOST

Guifang Liu

Abstract


The visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market is one of the largest and most rapidly growing global tourism markets nowadays (Sho, Hayato, & Tomoyuki, 2018). Influenced by globalization in the beginning of the 21st century, Southeast Asia has experienced a remarkable development of student mobility (Do & Pham, 2016). The purpose of this research is to explore the impacts on hosts caused by VFR travel and the further opportunities of tourism in Thailand linked with international student-induced VFR travel. The researcher try to identify the multiple roles of the international students and the tourists’ travel behavior based on VFR travel through this investigation from the perspective of host. This study adopted qualitative research methods to gather amounts of detailed information rely on eight respondents. Semi-structured, in-depth interview approach was conducted to collect data in Bangkok from September 19th to November 14th in 2018. The selection of sample was concentrated at Assumption University in Bangkok and it covers the international students as many as possible across different countries and genders. The researcher find that the international students take on multiple roles before and during the period when their friends and relatives come and visit them. The tourist behavior in Thailand identified by this study are similar. And for impacts on the host of VFR travel, the majority of the hosts’ feeling are happy, but a little disturbed sometimes. And some of the respondents have learned something form their hosting experience. The traffic problem and language barrier are identified as the negative comments that Thailand related sector should pay attention.

Keywords


VFR travel; international students; friends; relatives; Thailand; host.

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