Author:Chayanon Phucharoen, Tatiyaporn Jarumaneerat and Nichapat Sangkaew
Based on big data analytical and statistical techniques, this study aims to examine tourists’ shopping experiences at department stores and street markets in Phuket.
A Naïve Bayes machine learning algorithm was used to identify the most frequently used terms in TripAdvisor reviews of both department stores and street markets contributed by the same pool of 729 tourists.
A total of 18 out of 62 terms used were common in reviews of both shopping settings. However, the study found significant differences in the mean use of the 18 common terms and the likelihood of those terms being used in overall positive reviews.
The study’s findings indicate differences in tourist shopping experiences at department stores and street markets. Several concrete recommendations are made, including a greater focus on the linkage to the national characteristic of street markets, and particularly the quality of local fruit, to enhance the tourist shopping experience.
Understanding the differences between shopping malls and street markets from the tourist’s perspective would further enhance the coexistence of shopping malls and street markets in tourism-led growth cities. As such, using reviews of both shopping malls and street markets from an identical pool of tourists, the present study will analyse and compare tourists’ actual shopping experiences, thereby addressing this gap in the research canon via integrated statistical and big data analysis techniques.