ENCOURAGING SMART TOURISM BY STARTUP BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR - TOONEY TOY MUSEUM THAILAND
The purpose of this study was to carry out an evaluation of the new concept of smart tourism, and its possible adoption by start-up business through a case study of Tooney Toy Museum in Thailand. The study was guided by three objectives, to determine the effect of Tooney Toy Museum on tourists/customers satisfaction level, determine how individual aspects of Tooney Toy Museum influences customer satisfaction levels; and to develop a recommendation to the start-up business entrepreneurs on smart tourism. The study adopted quantitative methodology and was carried using primary data using a sample of 311 sample size who were composed of people who have visited Tooney Toy Museum. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to test the hypothesis, using SmartPLS. The validity and reliability of the model found to be satisfactory. The study found out that Tooney Toy Museum factors have a positive and significant effect on customer satisfaction, and “8P’s marketing mix of Tooney Toy museum have positive effect on customer satisfaction”. Based on the findings of hypothesis one (H1) and hypothesis 2 (H2) the study concluded that smart tourism is should be encouraged by start-up entrepreneurs since it would result to positive customer satisfactions. The findings of the research are applicable in the tourism sector and encouraging start-up entrepreneurship in the sector.