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

Aram Son (Lecturer at the Sun Yat‐Sen University Zhuhai, China)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 9 August 2011

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.

Keywords

Citation

Son, A. (2011), "International tourists' image of Zhangjiajie, China: content analysis of travel blogs", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 306-315. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506181111156998

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited