Video #25 Tourism Research (12 narrated slides, 8:28)

URL: S-one: Welcome to movie #25 in my sequence of presentations that will endeavor to “demystify tourism”. I’m Dr. Stan McGahey, the …


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Video #25 Tourism Research (12 narrated slides, 8:28)

S-1: Welcome to video #25 in my series of presentations that will attempt to “demystify tourism”. I’m Dr. Stan McGahey, the creator and narrator. Their content is based on my experiences as a professor, consultant, writer, manager, and tourist in 80+ countries on 6 continents.
S-2: Destinations and businesses compete for tourists throughout the world. So how do destinations know how to utilize their resources for optimal success? The answer is research. They gather data and information and analyze them to make informed decisions. Research enables destinations to understand and identify source markets, develop attractions, facilities, and systems, measure performance, and predict future developments. It also examines the principles of tourism as an experience and industry.
S-3: Tourism research is an administrative expense of professional staff and their activities. Primary research is original research custom-designed and conducted to achieve a specific purpose. It is costly and time-consuming, but directly addresses the topic. Secondary research saves money and time by utilizing existing research in a new project. Caution must be exercised to ensure it applies to the new project.
S-4: Research is descriptive, explanatory, predictive, or applied. Tourism uses all four. Descriptive research uses statistics to describe the data and characteristics of the topic. Explanatory research looks for causation and asks why by identifying variables and developing a hypothesis. Predictive research predicts future outcomes based on past numbers, behaviors, and attitudes. Applied research probes for facts and makes subjective recommendations for improvements to real-world problems.
S-5: In formal research 8 steps are typically used: 1) Identification of Research Problem; 2) Situation Analysis; 3) Informal Investigation; 4) Research Design; 5) Data Collection; 6) Analysis and Interpretation; 7) Findings; and 8) Written Report.
S-6: Quantitative research is objective and involves hard data. It converts observations into numbers, and crunches them using statistics. Qualitative research is subjective. It relies on observations, interviews, and expert analysis. Quantitative research is a science, and qualitative research is an art. Many research projects utilize both.
S-7: Surveys are the most common methodology in tourism research. They are based on the idea: if you want to know what people think, ask them. There are 3 types of surveys: 1) Opinion; 2) Interpretive; and 3) Factual.
S-8: Questionnaires can be administered via personal interviews, mail, telephone, or electronic devices. Questions may be open-ended or close-ended and must be free of bias. Open-ended are often used in qualitative research or at the end of a close ended questionnaire. Close-ended are easier to tabulate and often use multiple choice. Respondents can also rank answers, assign numerical values, or select specific categories. The Likert Scale determines which of five degrees of concurrence respondents have with a statement.
S-9: Tourism research also uses: 1) Focus groups of 8-12 people who discuss a topic; 2) Delphi method consists of tourism experts surveyed about a topic with various rounds of questions until a consensus is reached; 3) Observations study topics as they occur in real-life situations, and 4) Experiments examine the effect on a dependent variable when an independent variable is manipulated by a researcher in a controlled situation.
S-10: Most tourism organizations, ranging from CVBs to NTOs, collect data on their destination, and then analyze and publish them in monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. The most common are: 1) total arrivals; 2) total receipts; 3) length of stay; 3) purpose of travel; 5) transportation; and 6) gateways. Most data is broken down by time frames, source markets, and major markets; plus comparisons with the previous month, quarter, and year, tables showing changes over multiple years, and rankings by multiple source markets. Many categories also include data on tourist characteristics.
S-11: Most data used by tourist offices are collected and reported by government agencies and tourism suppliers. For countries with border controls, data on tourist arrivals and nationality can be obtained from arrivals cards. Statistics compiled by airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and tour companies also provide data. Surveys are also used.
S-12: Research is gathering data that when analyzed create new knowledge that helps solve a problem, measure performance, make improvements, explain a concept, or plan for the future. Tourism research is available in tourist office reports, journals and technical reports, and at tourism conferences. Smith Travel Research collects data and creates regular reports for a fee. Now, I invite you to watch Video #26: Tourism Organizations. Thank you!

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