Announcing: Apivantanaporn, Thanan and John Walsh, “Driving Force for Service Innovation through Creating Unique Value Proposition: Capitalizing on Cultural Identity in the Spa Industry of Chiang Mai, Thailand,” Information Management and Business Review, Vol.4, No.5 (May, 2012), pp.242-51, available at: http://ifrnd.org/IMBR/Vol%204/4(5)%20May%202012/2.pdf.
The Thai spa industry is recognized as one of the driving forces for economic development in terms of revenue and employment. However, the current economic downturn and intensifying competition from neighboring countries pose substantial challenges and threats to the industry. The Royal Thai Government has initiated an innovative development model that capitalizes on the country’s unique cultural capital. This paper investigates a specific case study of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, where the legends and ancient wisdom of the now defunct Lanna state have been developed over the course of decades and now constitute significant constructive and creative cultural capital. It investigates these issues through examination of government policy and measures, expert opinions, literature review and field observations. It is found that three factors are relevant to the development of the industry: (1) knowledge based service; (2) collective cluster effort and (3) business ecology system; together, these contribute to new service innovation which in turn contributes to new business value propositions. Keywords: Value creation; service strategy; creative industry; spa industry; Thailand