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International tourists' image of Zhangjiajie, China: content analysis of travel blogs

International tourists' image of Zhangjiajie, China: content analysis of travel blogs Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify Western travelers' image of Zhangjiajie, China as a tourist destination, drawing on data from contents of web travel blogs. Design/methodology/approach – The study taps the rich content of travel blogs as an alternative research instrument to measure and understand negative and positive images of destinations formed by travelers. Analysis of content drawn from travel blog data followed qualitative methodology techniques and utilized NVivo software. Findings – The study shows that travel blogs can form a good basis for measuring Western travelers' image of destination. This was the case for Zhangjiajie, where analysis of travelers' blogs indicated that they were impressed overall by the destination's beautiful natural scenery and were highly satisfied with nature‐based tourism attractions. The study also expounds on certain aspects of the destination that can be improved to satisfy Western travelers. Originality/value – The majority of destination image studies rely on structured surveys developed from the researchers' point of view. This study attempts to explore tourists' own perspectives on the nature of a tourist destination by using travel blogs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research Emerald Publishing

International tourists' image of Zhangjiajie, China: content analysis of travel blogs

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6182
DOI
10.1108/17506181111156998
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to identify Western travelers' image of Zhangjiajie, China as a tourist destination, drawing on data from contents of web travel blogs. Design/methodology/approach – The study taps the rich content of travel blogs as an alternative research instrument to measure and understand negative and positive images of destinations formed by travelers. Analysis of content drawn from travel blog data followed qualitative methodology techniques and utilized NVivo software. Findings – The study shows that travel blogs can form a good basis for measuring Western travelers' image of destination. This was the case for Zhangjiajie, where analysis of travelers' blogs indicated that they were impressed overall by the destination's beautiful natural scenery and were highly satisfied with nature‐based tourism attractions. The study also expounds on certain aspects of the destination that can be improved to satisfy Western travelers. Originality/value – The majority of destination image studies rely on structured surveys developed from the researchers' point of view. This study attempts to explore tourists' own perspectives on the nature of a tourist destination by using travel blogs.

Journal

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2011

Keywords: Blogs; Travel; Destination image; Content analysis; Zhangjiajie; China; Tourism

References