Identifying the Factors That Motivate Domestic Visitors to Attend Special Events in Art Galleries and Art Museums in Bangkok

Identifying the Factors That Motivate Domestic Visitors to Attend Special Events in Art Galleries and Art Museums in Bangkok
Art galleries and art museums are popular visitor attraction in worldwide tourism market. Especially in western country, Tate modern in London where become the second most visited venue in the country in year 2007 can attract 4.9 million visitors. The reason behind that success is not only the art gallery attributes itself, but it is also its interesting program, special events and regular visitor research to understand the specific needs and motivation of its audiences.
In Thailand where currently has over 100 galleries and museums and this number is included 95 galleries and museums in Bangkok. Each gallery in Bangkok run an exhibition program individually, the regular event is about the art exhibition running 1-3 months per exhibitions with a opening reception or closing party which depending on the gallery policy.
Bangkok is not a strategic location for Thailand, but a possession of potential resources on art galleries and museums which can play an important role in its tourism industry. However, the art gallery and museum sector also owns the major obstacle is the small number of visitation and a lack of research and development to improve the further step for the strategy of cultural and art tourism.
Visiting art galleries and museums in Bangkok can be another option to conduct a creative program to encourage domestic visitors to travel in Thailand which would be easier than attracting international tourists to come to visit Thailand soonest.
The finding of Axelsen?s research on visitors? motivation to attend special event in art galleries and museums in Australia is interesting and it provide insightful approach to understand the visitors? motivations.
Therefore, to explore visitors? motivations is a fundamental process that offers opportunities to understand what motivate people to go for art galleries and museums. Then, the relevant stakeholders; art galleries and museums, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Thailand Authority, etc. can further develop the interesting thematic exhibition program, tourism campaign as well as a national plan for cultural and art tourism in Bangkok to suit the market. it is not only to help on maintaining the expected target audiences in art galleries and museums sector, but it also another survival for the national tourism industry.
title OF project
Domestic Visitors? Motivation to Attend Special Event in Bangkok Art Galleries and Museums

statement OF research problem
Tourism is Thailand?s second largest industry. However, the political crisis during the may 2010 causes a major negative effect to tourism and hospitality industry. The task to encourage international people to destinations in Thailand becomes increasingly difficult and it is unable to go with ease. To create a new concept of cultural and art events in Bangkok would help to encourage the desire to travel as this segment in Thailand haven?t been brush up while galleries and museums in western country are a huge tourism that can generate million people to visit.
However, there are a small number of visitors attending in art galleries and museums a problem to understand what domestic visitors? motivations are would be helpful for art and museum sector to improve their service and strategies to attract more people to visit as well as to maintain the existing and potential visitors to be a loyal consumers.
? To identify the factors that motivate domestic visitors to attend special events in art galleries and art museums in Bangkok
? To understand the domestic visitors? motivations to attend special event in order to develop the cultural and art programs/ events, exhibitions to encourage visitors to revisitation.
conceptual framework

Source: Adapted from Peter and Olson (2003)
scope and definition OF the study
The research will be conducted in Bangkok by contributing the questionnaire to on-site visitors and to gallery and museum managers so that he or she can give away to their visitors during their attendance. Period to conducting survey is from the end of June ? end of July, a formal letter to request for research permission will be submitted to gallery and museum directors.
As stated in Art Victoria (n.d.), sample size of between 100 and 200 is sufficient for conducting an audience research and will be selected from domestic visitors attending the event at art galleries and museums and conducting at five different venues in Bangkok.
The research will focus on visitors? motivations by using Axelsen?s (2007) motivations to attend special events at galleries as a dimension.
? Special Event: ?one-time or infrequently occurring events outside the normal program or activities of the sponsoring or organizing body.? ( Getz, 1997).
? Art galleries and museums: ?A public or private nonprofit agency or institution organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes, which, utilizing a professional staff, owns or utilizes tangible objects, cares for them, and exhibits them to the public on a regular basis.? (The Institute of Museum and Library Services (imls), n.d.)
? Motivations: those factors / desires to take action to set off on the touristic trip (Leiper, 2004).
? Visitors: ?a term for someone who makes a visit to an attraction. Visitors are not all tourists in technical sense in that they will not all spend at least one night way from home? (Swarbrooke & Horner, 2003).
? Visitor attractions: a single site, unit or entity which motivates people to travel to it to see, experience and participate in what it has to offer. They may be artificial or natural and can be physical entities or special events (Swarbrooke & Horner, 2003).
? Leisure: the time which is not devoted to work or other duties which is sued the term to describe an industry which provides products and services for people to use in their spare time (Swarbrooke & Horner, 2003).
? Culture: a mechanism through which individuals, communities and nations define themselves (A Cultural Policy for the City of Edinburgh, 1999).
Axelsen?s (2007) research has been conducted in two different galleries in Australia, the most frequent visitors? motivation is to attend for novelty. However, this paper will be tested only with Thai people, therefore, the top priority of domestic visitors? motivation would be different.
Timeframe is a major limitation as this research is a part of semester subject which it would have an effect on the sample size as it is unable to be reached the reality which may cause the incorrect result. In addition, the research paper is based on the result of Axelsen?s (2007) visitors? motivation to special event in art galleries which is previously conducted and tested in Australia which is validity and reliability, however, to set his finding motivation as the dimension limit the perception to answer of domestic people in Bangkok.
human ethic considerations
When conducting the field work, to approach a person who looks approachable and friendly will not lessen the respondents? privacy. However, it is not only to help data collector to get information easier, it will not also have an impact on the validity of the survey. In addition, to inform respondents that their contact details, information and opinions you provide will be kept confidential and will only be used for research purposes and some personal questions, such as income, age and occupation can be optional as some respondents would not prefer to answer.
practical significance
This result of this research would be useful for museums & galleries stakeholders to understand what is ?interesting? to visitors so that they can tighten customer relationship for converting potential visitors into loyal customers. Moreover, it would be useful for governmental sectors to grasps the fundamental needs of domestic visitors as a good resource for rebranding the nation through cultural and art tourism.
background information
Art galleries and museums are as one of the major tourist attractions in the western countries. They can attract both domestic and international tourists from all over the world. Tate Modern, for example, is a good model on a regular audience research and develops its campaign and exhibition to suit its visitors? needs.
In tourism booming country in term of art and tourism such as England, Australia, Korea, etc. there are the numerous research to find out the factor that motivates people to attend the each destination. Whereas, there have been rarely a research on answer the factor motivate people to attend special events at art galleries and museums in Bangkok.
According to About Art Related Activities (aara, it revealed the number of visitors in year 2002 of some art galleries and museums. The finding can be presented as follows:
Venue Year Visitor No./ Year
The National Gallery the fiscal year of 1996-2002 40,619 visitors
Thavibu Gallery 2002 4,000 visitors
Atelier Art Gallery 2002 7,300 visitors
Tadu Contemporary Art 2002 4,000 visitors
Open Art Gallery 2002 3,600 visitors
Contrastingly, in western art and museum market is increasingly popular, for example, Tate- a family of four galleries: Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives see in increasingly number of visitors every year. To compare with audience figure in Bangkok, Tate?s audiences figure in 2002 can be shown in the following data.
year Tate Britain Tate Modern Tate Liverpool Tate St Ives
2002 1,056,241 3,055,546 440,849 166,377

Source: tate visitor figure
Despite art galleries and museums in developed country play the major role in the hospitality and tourism industry, the art galleries and museums in Bangkok still suffer with the little group of people to visit and almost is hardly know the factors that influence galleries and museums visitation behaviors.

literature review
The useful frameworks of push-pull factor are to examine the motivations of tourists and visitation behavior (Dann, 1977). For this paper, push factor is a major approach to understand visitor motivation or factors that motivate persons to travel.
Push factors
To understand the broad dimension on general motivation literature is important before keep focusing on the motivations of audience visiting arts events. Motivation is kind of a complexity of research on attending the specific events. However, some writers point out distinguish between needs and motivations for example Leiper (2004) suggested that ?needs underlie motivations. A need is a state of the felt deprivation, while a motivation is like a force impelling people to act, attempting to satisfy a need.? Pizam et al. (1979) also explored that motivation to travel refers to a set of needs that influence participation in tourist activity. Researchers have found that a wide range of different motivation to travel. One of the earliest interesting papers by Crompton (1979) identified nine motives of pleasure vacationers which motivate the selection of a destination: escape from the mundane, exploration, relaxation, prestige and status, regression, enhancement of relationships, social interaction, education and novelty.
Similarly, Leiper (2004) examined the numerous research on tourists ?s need and motivations between 1975-2003, a result of compiling motivations can be summarized as; escape from mundane environment, rest and relaxation, sunlight, regression, self-evaluation, self-esteem/ prestige/ confidence building, social interaction, time with friends and relatives, nostalgia, education/ learning about world, novelty and acquisition of goods.
There is rarely research conduct on the specific purpose of motivations of audiences attending short-term visual art exhibition. However, Axelsen?s study has focused on motivation of visitors to attend special event in art galleries and museums. He investigated the motivational difference between frequent visitors and occasional visit. The research was conducted with participants attending two different galleries in Australia. Frequent visitors are motivated by novelty, learning, social interaction, professional interest, and experience seeking, whereas, occasional visitors, occasional visitors are motivated by social interaction, learning, family, experience seeking and recommendations.
The relevant literature examined in this paper is from tourist motivation in the first instance, then comparisons are made with the relevant theories identified from consumer motivation literature.
Authors Major tourist motivation issue addressed
Crompton (1979) nine motives of pleasure, (7 motives is classified socio-psychological which are escape from a perceived mundane environment, exploration and evaluation of self, relaxation, prestige, regression, enhancement of kinship relationships, and facilitation of social interaction. Another 2 motives is as cultural; novelty and education.
Lieper (2004) 11 needs of visitors; escape from mundane environment, rest and relaxation, sunlight, regression, self-evaluation, self-esteem/ prestige/ confidence building, social interaction, time with friends and relatives, nostalgia, education/ learning about world, novelty and acquisition of goods.
Axelsen (2007) exploratory study the motivations most frequently mentioned by frequent visitors and occasional visitors to attend special events at galleries
Frequent visitors? motivations are novelty, learning, social interaction, professional interest, and experience seeking. Occasional visitors motivations are social interaction, learning, family, experience seeking and recommendations.
Special Events in Art Galleries and Museums
In literature, there are several theorists identified the general meaning of special events. Getz (1997) identified that events are a critical motivator for tourism, generating the figure prominently and marketing plans of many destinations. He also defined special events as ?one-time or infrequently occurring events outside the normal programme or activities of the sponsoring or organising body.? And Douglas et al. (2001) suggested that festivals and events ?for people to come together to celebrate, to demonstrate, to worship, to honour, to remember, to socialize??
Similarly, Axelsen & Arcodia (2004) suggested that special events at art galleries and art museums are often run to complement the institution?s programme, and include festivals, musical concerts, workshops, open days, gala days, demonstrations, and artists? talks.
In contemporary era, just simply viewing at art displays does not satisfy visitors to art galleries and museums any more. Contrastingly, audiences have more expectations than that inactive activity, they need active experiences which engaged in exhibits and learning with entertainment (Caulton 1998). This evidence that the traditional operation is useless, instead of maintain what they have done for a place of showcase or warehouse of artifacts, dealing with general public to maintain the visitors? attendance and institutes? income by creating enjoyable with educational and personal meaningful activities (Screven 1996).

Culture and events
Knight and Robertson (2004) examined that culture is conceptualized as a process or product of individual or group activities and its rang from high, popular and contemporary culture which art is under the high category. It is the reason why culture is often linked to a product and process in tourism industry. As defined by Rossetto (1998), cultural tourism emphasizes on intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic needs of visitors, including needs to satisfy the diverse needs of human via reaching cultural level and giving rise to new knowledge, experience and encounters.
Richard (1992) suggested the approach of the sites and monument by focusing on type of attraction and conceptual approach to describe the relation between the motivation with cultural tourism.
For cultural experience, Richard (2001) suggested there are always chances for cultural experiences through tourism and museums are considered as experience factories. Moreover, MacCannell (1976) and Wang (1999) pointed out that museums are a good place for satisfying which response to the touristic motivations; novelty of the cultures and the need for authenticity. In accordance with the research on cultural tourism of Rossetto (1998), many tourists are interested in learning and having cultural experiences at the place they visit and they can reach that aim by attending cultural events or museums or galleries.
data required
The visitors? motivations are required. The dimension of Axelsen (2007)?s motivation to attend special events in galleries and museums based on based on Likert scale. Visitors? personal data; gender, age, marital status, Visitors? motivation theories and related researches such as cultural and art events, event tourism and leisure also required to analyze the final data. Moreover, visitors figure in each gallery and the nature of galleries and museums industry in Thailand would be beneficial to the data analysis.
data sources
The primary data collection will be conducted on-site by self-administered questionnaire at five different art galleries and museums in Bangkok. The study respondents we are a series of questions to screen and make sure they are the expected respondents who are familiar with Art galleries and museums in Bangkok. Those respondents will be at least 15 years of age.
data collections techniques
The data used in the study will be collected from visitors to five different art galleries and museums in Bangkok. The art galleries and museums will be selected according to the different type of its operation which is private, educational institute, government and no-profit organization as below:
? 100 Tonson Gallery , Ploenchit Road
? Galerie N, Wireless Road
? Tadu Art Gallery, Sukhumvit Road
? Jimthompson Art Center, Rama 1 Road
? The Queen?s Gallery, Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd
In this research, the questionnaire will be designed according to the conceptual analysis of Axelsen (2007) literature by using the five-point Likert-style scale, ranging from 5 ?Very important? to 1 ?very unimportant and will be bilingual and distributed to art galleries and museums visitors during the end of June ? end of July 2010.
data analysis
In this research, data will be analyzed using computer system (Statistic Package for the Social Science). Descriptive statistic is also used to analyze data using statistic indexes, such as frequency, percentage, average and standard deviation.

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