Influences of Risk Perception and Reference Group on Solo Female Travelers’ Perceived Risks in Thailand

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นันท์ฤทัย ชื่นใจดี
ดร.จารุวรรณ แดงบุบผา


The objective of this research was to study travel behavior of a solo female travelers in Thailand and their perceived risks as well as their reference groups that had an influence on their perception. This study employed a mixed research methodology combining qualitative and quantitative methods. A netnography method was used in the qualitative part whereas a questionnaire was used to collect the quantitative data including the respondents’ perceived risks and the influence of the reference group on their perception. 

           The findings from the quantitative study showed that the solo female travelers in Thailand consisted mainly of Asian tourists, and most of them traveled and stayed alone while traveling. The most perceived risk in Thailand found among Thai and foreign tourists were crimes and rapes. In addition, female tourists were found to higher perception on risks than male tourists, and the most important aspects that made these afraid during traveling were darkness and silence because they generally served as the main causes leading to situations where the greatest risks could occur. However, tourists usually searched for information before making a trip so that they could be aware of the risks that might occur in Thailand.  Their information sources came from people who were members of their reference group and those who were not. In addition, the top four channels/sources of information helping the tourists to be aware of the perceived risked and could avoid such risks included friends and colleagues, online reviews, social media, and self-awareness.  Moreover, it was also found that the reference group had an important role in inspiring and encouraging the solo female tourists to make a trip alone. The result of the Chi-Square test which used to analyze a cluster relationship of the longest stay and risk perception indicated that foreign tourists perceived risks of diseases and hygiene. The findings of this study can be used to develop a good image for Thailand however, support from the government and related organizations is needed.

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