Monitoring the attitudes of visitors has been an important but problematic task for destination marketing organizations (DMOs). Standard approaches have included tick box surveys and focus groups, in-depth interviews and other qualitative methods. The former are relatively cheap to administer but provide generally poor data, while the latter may provide rich data but can be expensive to implement. Consumer generated web content (including, but not limited to `blogs') may offer a way for destinations to monitor visitor attitudes. There may be particular value in a blog based market research tool because the content is provided in a less artificial setting than in surveys or interviews. The research examined different sources of consumer generated web content about travel to Australia's Northern Territory and evaluated the authorship and readership as well as the nature of the content itself. The findings suggest that valuable data can be drawn from travel blogs, but that locating and analysing relevant content is time consuming. The author proposes a targeted approach to monitoring blogs that takes into account the market segments likely to engage in blogging and the aspects of the destination likely to come under scrutiny.
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