What destination marketers can learn from their visitors' blogs: an image analysis of Bethlehem, Palestine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The understanding of visitor images is an important subject for tourism destination marketers. Although an increasing number of empirical studies explore images of several tourism destinations worldwide, limited research has been focussed on the tourism destination image of conflict areas. This study examines the image of Bethlehem by analysing Bethlehem's visitors' online publishing. Data was collected from popular travel blog sites, which include online posts about Bethlehem and its visitors' beliefs and evaluations. The results revealed that destination specific attributes in addition to primary image attributes are essential to understand the visitors' image of a conflict area. This study suggests that destination marketers of conflict areas should first accept their unique destination attributes, which do not change rapidly. The visitors' perceptions of Bethlehem and its people are based on more functional and psychological attributes than on holistic impressions. Destination marketers of conflict areas should craft a unique branding strategy that fits their destination best.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Destination Marketing & Management
Volume1
Issue number1/2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Bethlehem
  • Blogs
  • Content analysis
  • Destination image
  • Electronic word-of-mouth
  • Semantic network analysis

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