Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Motivation of Inbound Tourists to learn Muay Thai in Thailand as a Destination Choice

Background. Muay Thai, known as ‘Thai Boxing’, is a famous sports tourist attraction in Thailand, and it is essential for marketing and tourism development professionals to understand the motivations that attract foreign inbound tourists to use their vacation time to learn Muay Thai.
Problem and Aim. Few studies have focused on the push-and-pull motivational factors affecting this to determine if these motivations fit past research on the decision to participate in sports or martial arts. This study was designed to identify and assess the roles of push-and pull factors in the decision to learn Muay Thai among inbound tourists visiting gyms in Bangkok, Thailand.
Methods. Quantitative analysis of a total of 384 valid responses was analyzed by confirmatory factor analysis.
Results. The results show that the decision to learn Muay Thai in Thailand by international tourists is more influenced by pull factors such as Thailand being the country of origin for Muay Thai, over push factors, such as the desire to attain success and achievement.
Conclusions. These results provide essential marketing implications for national branding and tourism development utilizing the sports industry. In particular, they identify market segmentation based on demographic data, focusing on five push factors and five pull factors to design promotional programs and decision-making regarding sports destination development. The findings contribute to the tourism and marketing literature on travel motivation, destination choice, and decision-making behavior among
international tourists.