Handbook of Research Methods for Tourism and Hospitality Management
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Handbook of Research Methods for Tourism and Hospitality Management

Edited by Robin Nunkoo

As research in tourism and hospitality reaches maturity, a growing number of methodological approaches are being utilized and, in addition, this knowledge is dispersed across a wide range of journals. Consequently there is a broad and multidisciplinary community of tourism and hospitality researchers whom, at present, need to look widely for support on methods. In this volume, researchers fulfil a pressing need by clearly presenting methodological issues within tourism and hospitality research alongside particular methods and share their experiences of what works, what does not work and where challenges and innovations lie.
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Chapter 27: Experimental research in tourism: examining changes to destination perception with film-induced tourism

Eugene Thomlinson


True experimentation, where an independent variable is altered to determine the effects on the dependent variable(s), is not a common research method for tourism research. While not applicable to most situations, it can be a valuable technique to better understand relationships and assign causation. Many key considerations can guide the successful use of experiments in tourism. Experimentation requires control and manipulated subjects, randomly assigned to the different conditions, to determine the impacts of the manipulation. To better assess the changes, only one factor should be altered at a time, and statistical tests that do not selectively leave out certain data should be employed. Ten possible errors can impact on the results of the experiment, so these need to be minimized through the experimental design chosen. Experiments can be more involved than other methods of tourism research, but when used in the right situations, they can be powerful tools in the researcher’s toolbox.

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