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Destination marketing organisations (DMOs) seek to provide positive pre-travel online destination experiences (ODEs) to attract tourists. Thereby, DMOs understand official destination websites (ODWs) as central sources of information influencing tourists’ travel decisions. Although experiential marketing theory postulates that customers are reached through sensory, affective, intellectual, behavioural or social experiences, this theory has rarely been applied to analysing tourist experiences on ODWs. Past research and theories remain similar to models from product brands, yet fail to acknowledge the peculiarities of destination experiences. This research explores how users of ODWs experience unfamiliar tourist destinations in the pre-travel phase. To gain a deeper understanding of the nature of ODEs on ODWs, a qualitative multi-method study was conducted involving eye-tracking, retrospective think-aloud protocols, semi-structured interviews and video observations with 15 German millennials selected via purposeful sampling. Data was analysed in a qualitative directed content analysis following an abductive approach. Findings expand on previous theory by adding a spatio-temporal experience dimension. In the pre-travel phase, potential tourists explore the spatio-temporal accessibility of expected experiences and the experience density in the destination. Furthermore, this research provides new insights into the different dimensions of ODEs and proposes an advanced conceptual framework.
Animesh Tripathi, Stuart Hayes and Hazel Tucker
With an increase in tourists originating from Asia, the geographies of tourism have changed considerably in recent decades. Arguably, however, tourism scholarship remains largely Western-centric. In this research note, we focus on one particular area of tourism scholarship where Western-centrism may be especially problematic: tourist culture. As part of this, we draw on a case study of ‘lifestyle travel’ to illustrate the need for more inclusive, diverse and non-Western-centric (auto)ethnographic/(auto)biographical studies in tourist culture scholarship. In so doing, we argue that such studies may be especially useful for capturing the stories of ‘Others’, thus helping to broaden our knowledge base in light of tourism’s shifting geographies.
Aylin Akyıldız, Marie Duchene and Claudia Ba
This research note addresses the difficulties in acquiring interview partners within the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-funded project ‘Neighbourhood in the tourist trap? An examination on the changing residential quality through tourist accommodation in selected Berlin residential neighbourhoods’. The research project is analysing to what extent the quality of residential areas has changed as a result of tourist accommodation through a mixed-method approach. In order to ensure a differentiated database, one aim of the project was to interview residents with different durations of residency and educational levels, and to take into account the high density of people with a migration background in Berlin. Since Berliners of Turkish origin represent the largest group of people with a migration background in Berlin, it was in the interest of the research to make this group’s views visible and voices heard. In the research note we focus on the acquisition of Turkish Berliners and reflect on the question of why establishing contacts with Turkish Berliners was especially challenging. In order to answer this question, some hypotheses on non-response conduct will be sketched from which we draw our conclusions of an alteration of acquisition within the field of New Urban Tourism in Berlin.
Temporality is increasingly being recognised as an important dimension of tourist experience. Qualitative longitudinal research (QLR) is a methodology for investigating temporality and change that is rarely used in tourism studies. The approach moves away from reliance on data collected at one point in time and retrospective narratives. Instead, data are generated at multiple points in time, thus capturing experience in the present moment. I situate QLR alongside lifecourse and biographical research in order to show how it can extend existing qualitative enquiry into tourists’ subjective temporal experiences and biographical narratives. ‘Intensive’ and ‘extensive’ QLR designs are delineated and connected to potential applications in qualitative tourism research. Additionally, conceptual clarification is provided regarding use of the terms ‘longitudinal’ and ‘temporal’, which have frequently been a source of confusion. I conclude that QLR has significant potential to advance our understanding of tourist experience, motivation and transformation.
Livelihoods in rural Southeast Asia are widely divergent, but often characterized by a reduced role for agriculture and local natural resources. The diverse components of an expanding tourism industry can provide opportunities for rural households seeking more diversified livelihood strategies. Artisans Angkor is a tourism social enterprise employing over 800 artisans in rural Cambodia. This study analysed the benefits of formal employment with Artisans Angkor by studying one village where six long-term Artisans Angkor employees lived, and comparing their situations with those of their direct peers. While income levels were often similar, significant benefits related to safe working conditions, social insurance and above all enabling young households to live together at home. This study provides insights into how qualitative research can contribute contextualized understandings of tourism employment’s livelihood effects.
Sven Gross and Dominik Huber
In recent years more and more tourist information boards have been put up on German motorways. Little research exists with regard to the effects of these information boards. A qualitative research approach was used and 29 semi-structured interviews were conducted to increase knowledge about the relationships between tourist information boards and related tourism behaviour. A model was developed which integrates the elements perception of tourist motorway signage, its memory effects and tourism decision-making processes. Findings suggest that spontaneous driving off the motorway is rarely found and points of interest are more likely to be visited after the trip or used as travel inspiration. This study shows for the first time that tourist information boards can play an important role in tourism decision-making processes and resulting behaviours.