Exploring qualitative applications of social media data for place-based assessments in destination planning

Allie McCreary, Erin Seekamp, Mae Davenport, Jordan W. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the physical attributes of a destination valued by visitors allows tourism managers to consider those components when planning, managing, and marketing destinations. However, determining the key components of visitors’ destination image can be difficult. This study utilizes social media data to explore visitors’ destination image of a nature-based tourism locale. Specifically, we examined user-generated content by visitors to the tourism region adjacent to Lake Superior in Minnesota USA during the summer 2015 tourism season. Content analysis was utilized to determine the major themes of visitors’ destination image. Our findings are similar to those of existing studies: natural resources, built resources, and human subjects are the most prevalent components of destination image. However, our method of ascertaining these components of destination image–specifically, thematically analyzing social media data–present a technique that may be more easily accessible to tourism providers, as it can be a lower cost and time investment. We discuss how these findings can inform the development of recreation opportunities and marketing materials. This qualitative analysis of social media data can be applied in other locales as a relatively efficient and real-time method to inform place-based management and marketing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-98
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

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social media
tourism
Tourism
planning
marketing
qualitative analysis
recreation
natural resources
content analysis
natural resource
Planning
Social media
Destination
manager
Destination image
lake
summer
resource
costs
management

Keywords

  • Sense of place
  • nature-based tourism
  • place branding
  • place making
  • place management
  • place meanings

Cite this

Exploring qualitative applications of social media data for place-based assessments in destination planning. / McCreary, Allie; Seekamp, Erin; Davenport, Mae; Smith, Jordan W.

In: Current Issues in Tourism, Vol. 23, No. 1, 02.01.2020, p. 82-98.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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