Exploring the Service Quality Factors of Spa Business in Pattaya, Thailand

Main Article Content

chitlada pinthong
Arinya Pongwat


Spa and wellness sector earns a significant income comparing to other tourism-related businesses. A spa business is considered a popular activity in Pattaya city, one of the most popular destinations in Thailand and ASEAN, for both domestic and international travelers. This study aimed to discover the important service quality factors shaping the spa-goers’ satisfactions, while senior spa-goers and non-senior spa-goers were explored and compared. The adopted SERVQUAL concept includes with five dimensions, namely, tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. The current study employs a mixed methodology. The qualitative study was conducted by using the netnography approach with opinion mining technique to analyze the online review, develop the word cloud, and identify the key themes of spa service quality in stage 1. The findings from stage 1 are utilized as the recommendation for the questionnaire development in stage 2. In stage 2, the quantitative analysis was employed to examine the experienced Pattaya spa-goers’ satisfaction toward thier spa experiences by using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and ANOVA analysis to compare the findings between senior spa-goers and non-senior spa-goers. The findings reveal that there are some significant differences between two groups, which contributes to both theoretical and practical implications. The limitations are the particular setting of focus destination and samples, while future research should overcome those issues. 



Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



Abdulla, S. A. M., Khalifa, G. S., Abuelhassan, A. E., & Ghosh, A. (2019). Antecedents of Dubai revisit intention: The role of destination service quality and tourist satisfaction. Restaurant Business, 118(10), 307-316.

Allahyari, M., Pouriyeh, S., Assef, M., Safaei, S., Trippe, E. D., Gutierrez, J. B., & Kochut, K. (2017). A brief survey of text mining: classification, clustering and extraction techniques. Proceedings of KDD Bigdas, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.1707.02919.

Bagozzi, R. P., & Yi, Y. (1988). On the evaluation of structural equation models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 16(1), 74-94.

Berkup, S. B. (2014). Working with generations X and Y in generation Z period: Management of different generations in business life. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(19), 218 - 229.

Blešić, I., Popov-Raljić, J., Uravić, L., Stankov, U., Đeri, L., Pantelić, M., & Armenski, T. (2014). An importance-performance analysis of service quality in spa hotels. Economic research-Ekonomska istraživanja, 27(1), 483-495.

Boon-Itt, S., & Rompho, N. (2012). Measuring service quality dimensions: An empirical analysis of Thai hotel industry. International Journal of Business Administration, 3(5), 51-63.

Cheung, B. C. M. (2012). A Study of the Interrelationship of Spa Guests' Motivation, Perceived Service Quality, Value, Satisfaction, and Behavioral Intentions. Doctoral dissertation, Graduate College, Oklahoma State University.

Chua, A. Y., & Banerjee, S. (2013). Reliability of reviews on the Internet: The case of Tripadvisor. Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering & Computer Science: International Conference on Internet and Multimedia Technologies (pp.453-457). San Francisco, USA. http://www.iaeng.org/ publication/WCECS2013/WCECS2013_pp453-457.pdf.

Dabholkar, P. A., Thorpe, D. I., & Rentz, J. O. (1996). A measure of service quality for retail stores: scale development and validation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 24(1), 3.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02893933.

Donaldson, R. & Carter, M. (2021). Generation gap. Retrieved June 16, 2021, from https://www.spabusiness.com/spa-business-magazine/Generation-gap/33887.

Filieri, R., Alguezaui, S., & McLeay, F. (2015). Why do travelers trust TripAdvisor? Antecedents of trust towards consumer-generated media and its influence on recommendation adoption and word of mouth. Tourism Management, 51, 174-185.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Garvin, D. A. (1988). Managing quality: the strategic and competitive edge. New York: Free Press.

Giritlioglu, I., Jones, E., & Avcikurt, C. (2014). Measuring food and beverage service quality in spa hotels: A case study in Balıkesir, Turkey. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(2), 183-201.

Global Wellness Institute. (2018). Global Wellness Economy Monitor 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2021, from https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/industry-research/2018-global-wellness-economy-monitor/.

Gronroos, C. (1988). Service quality: The six criteria of good perceived service. Review of Business, 9(3), 10-13.

Hair Jr, J. F., Matthews, L. M., Matthews, R. L., & Sarstedt, M. (2017). PLS-SEM or CB-SEM: updated guidelines on which method to use, Int. J. Multivariate Data Analysis, 1(2), 107-123.

Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

International Spa Association. (2020). Types of Spa. Retrieved November 8, 2020, from http://experienceispa.com/resources/spa-goers.

Johnson, E. M., & Redman, B. M. (2018). Spa: A comprehensive introduction. Florida: American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Ju, Y., Back, K. J., Choi, Y., & Lee, J. S. (2019). Exploring Airbnb service quality attributes and their asymmetric effects on customer satisfaction. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 77, 342-352.

Kline, R. B. (2013). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. In Y. Petscher & C. Schatsschneider (Eds.), Applied quantitative analysis in the social sciences. New York: Routledge.

Lagrosen, Y., & Lagrosen, S. (2016). Customer perceptions of quality–a study in the SPA industry. European Business Review, 28(6), 657-675.

Lehtinen, U., & Lehtinen, J. R. (1991). Two approaches to service quality dimensions. Service Industries Journal, 11(3), 287-303.

Lőke, Z., Kovács, E., & Bacsi, Z. (2018). Assessment of service quality and consumer satisfaction in a Hungarian spa. The Central European Journal of Regional Development and Tourism, 10(2), 124-146.

Marketeer (2020). Spa and Massage, the Key Player. Retrieved January 8, 2021, from https://marketeeronline.co/archives/138860.

Mariani, M. M., Mura, M., & Di Felice, M. (2018). The determinants of Facebook social engagement for national tourism organizations' Facebook pages: A quantitative approach. Journal of destination marketing & management, 8, 312-325.

Marković, S., Raspor, S., & Šegarić, K. (2010). Does restaurant performance meet customers' expectations? An assessment of restaurant service quality using a modified DINESERV approach. Tourism and Hospitality Management, 16(2), 181-195.

MGR Online. (2021). SHA+ Phuket Sandbox. Retrieved June 16, 2021, from https://mgronline.com/ south/detail/9640000054297.

Minh, N. H., Ha, N. T., Anh, P. C., & Matsui, Y. (2015). Service quality and customer satisfaction: A case study of hotel industry in Vietnam. Asian Social Science, 11(10), 73-85.

Mondok, A. (2019). New generations–new trends in the spa industry. Economica, 10(2), 21-26.

Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric Theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rach, S. (2022). Over a third of baby boomers set to retire later than spa. Retrieved June 8, 2022, from https://www.ftadviser.com/pensions/2022/03/28/over-a-third-of-baby-boomers- set-to- retire-later-than-spa/?page=2

Salazar, A., Costa, J., & Rita, P. (2010). A service quality evaluation scale for the hospitality sector: Dimensions, attributes and behavioural intentions. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes. 2(3), 383-397.

Sangpikul, A. (2019). The analysis of customers’ e-complaints and service quality at spa services in Thailand. E-review of Tourism Research, 16(6), 519-545.

Schroeder, A., & Pennington-Gray, L. (2015). The role of social media in international tourist’s decision making. Journal of Travel Research, 54(5), 584-595.

Schuckert, M., Liu, X., & Law, R. (2015). Hospitality and tourism online reviews: Recent trends and future directions. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 32(5),608-621.

Shahin, A., Mahdavi, Z., & Shahmohammadi, F. (2017). Comparative analysis of the viewpoints of customers, employees and managers based on the developed model of service quality gaps-with a case study in the travel agents at the centre of the city of Tehran. International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 21(1), 97-111.

Shanka, M. S. (2012). Bank service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty in Ethiopian banking sector. Journal of Business Administration and Management Sciences Research, 1(1), 001-009.

Pakdee, K., Aswin, S., & Siridech K. (2020). Thai World Class Spa Business Development in Thailand towards Sustainability, Journal of Health Science, 29(6), 1147-1156.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. (1988). SERVQUAL: A multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 12-40.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1994). Alternative scales for measuring service quality: a comparative assessment based on psychometric and diagnostic criteria. Journal of Retailing, 70(3), 201-230.

Patkowska, J. M., Pytel, S., Oleśniewicz, P., & Widawski, K. (2017). The 21st Century Trends in Senior Tourism Development Among the Baby Boomer Generation. International Conference on Tourism Dynamics and Trends. (pp. 280-299). Faculty of Tourism and Finance University of Seville, Spain. http://www.tourismtrendsconference.us.es/wp-content/ uploads/2017/12/PROCEEDINGS-BOOK-Toursimtrends-2017-new.pdf.

Pattaya Municipality. (2019). Creative Spa and Wellness Thailand 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2020, from https://www.pattaya.go.th/2019/05/22/hr-2112/.

Tang, I. L. F., Grace, C. S. H., Tan, C. T., & Leung, R. W. (2018). Understanding generation Y’s favorite spa scent, spa food versus spa service experience. J Tourism Hospit, 7(4), 2167-0269.

Thiersch, A. R. (2020). The forgotten generation-Med spas and generation X. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://www.americanmedspa.org/blogpost/1633466/300685/The-Forgotten Generation--Med-Spas-and-Generation-Xtag=AmSpa%27s+Med+Spa+%26+ Aesthetic+Boot+Camps.

Vijayarani, S., Ilamathi, M. J., & Nithya, M. (2015). Preprocessing techniques for text mining-an overview. International Journal of Computer Science & Communication Networks, 5(1), 7-16.

Viljoen, A., Kruger, M., & Saayman, M. (2018). Ageing in a modern era: evidence from South African resort spa visitors. Southern African Business Review, 22(1), 1-34.

Vryoni, S., Bakirtzoglou, P., & Ioannou, P. (2017). Customers’ satisfaction and service quality of spa centers in Greece. Acta Kinesiologica, 11(1), 12-18.

World Health Organization. (202). Achieving 70% COVID-19 Immunization Coverage by Mid-2022. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from https://www.who.int/news/item/23-12-2021-achieving-70-covid-19-immunization-coverage-by-mid-2022.

Xiang, Z., Du, Q., Ma, Y., & Fan, W. (2017). A comparative analysis of major online review platforms: Implications for social media analytics in hospitality and tourism. Tourism Management, 58, 51-65.

Yoon, Y., & Uysal, M. (2005). An examination of the effects of motivation and satisfaction on destination loyalty: a structural model. Tourism Management, 26(1), 45-56.