Although scientific methods are available for evaluating the impact of intervention programs (e.g., plant growth of alternative seeds and soil treatments; consumer purchases of alternative prices, brands, and products; reforms such as regulations requiring wearing helmets by motorcycle riders), tourism marketing programs fail to use these methods. Traditional “conversion studies” – estimating the rate inquiries from tourism advertising convert into visitors by asking samples of inquirers if they visited – have fatal flaws in measuring whether or not the advertising caused visits to the destination that otherwise would not have occurred. The failure to stop doing traditional conversion studies to measure whether or not advertising causes visits appears to be an example of ignorance of ignorance, that is, tourism marketing executives do not have the knowledge and skills for applying effective methods to estimate the effectiveness of marketing and advertising's influence on causing visits, and they are unaware of their ignorance. What to do? New technologies in delivering advertising is decreasing the costs and efforts of using scientific methods for measuring advertising and marketing's impact on visits. Large, unobtrusive, scientific field experiments are appearing in the literature in the second decade of the 21st century. Good news at last?
Woodside, A. (2010), "Tourism advertising and marketing performance metrics", Woodside, A. (Ed.) Tourism-Marketing Performance Metrics and Usefulness Auditing of Destination Websites (Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1871-3173(2010)0000004005Download as .RIS
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