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Understanding destination image from the perspective of Western travel bloggers: the case of Istanbul

Zaid Alrawadieh (Vocational School of Social Sciences, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Mithat Zeki Dincer (Faculty of Economics and Vocational School of Social Sciences, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Fusun Istanbullu Dincer (Faculty of Economics, Department of Tourism Management, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Parvin Mammadova (Department of Operations, Turkish Radio and Television World, Istanbul, Turkey)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 11 July 2018

Issue publication date: 30 July 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

Travelers’ narratives disseminated online about destination experiences are an important source of information for measuring the performance of tourist destinations and understanding travelers’ perceptions, behaviors and expectations. Drawing on data from travel narratives, the purpose of this study is to examine the destination image of Istanbul as revealed in Western travel blogs. In addition, this study aims to identify the demographic characteristics of travelers who are more likely to engage in destination blogging activities.

Design methodology/approach

A deductive content analysis approach was used on a sample of travel blog entries retrieved from TravelPod.com. Based on the dimensions and attributes of destination image identified by Beerli and Martín (2004), a coding scheme was established to guide the coding process.

Findings

The findings suggest that the online destination image of Istanbul is generally positive. Specifically, the destination is mainly appreciated for its cultural and historical heritage, as well as for its tourist infrastructure. However, the findings also highlight some issues that concern Western travelers, such as safety and traffic congestion.

Originality/value

This study is timely as it explores the online destination image of a key destination in a period of instability. The findings are expected to offer insights for destination management organizations in Turkey on how Western travelers view Istanbul as a tourist destination. These insights are also important to help policymakers and tourism destination marketers design effective strategies.

Keywords

Citation

Alrawadieh, Z., Dincer, M.Z., Istanbullu Dincer, F. and Mammadova, P. (2019), "Understanding destination image from the perspective of Western travel bloggers: the case of Istanbul", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 198-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-12-2017-0124

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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