This study reflects on culture as a data delineator for tourism studies. The researchers’ goal was to study the experiences of four different cultural groups who visited the same cultural heritage site. I think it is significant that the researchers chose culture as a segregator and wonder how they recruited participants who fell into distinct cultural groups. They used open-ended questions that they answered in writing, and these were then run through textual analysis software. The key discussion of this article is that although the study had originally hypothesized some difference in motivations between cultural groups, there wasn’t any. What was reflected is more of a homogenous tourism culture. One of the primary shortcomings of this study, as noted by the researchers, is that their analysis is on a first reflective writing of the experience. This means that the participants may have had more to say or would say things in a different way than the data collection process allowed for. According to the researchers, more in-depth interviews could provide a deeper understanding to both the researchers and the visitors as to what their motives are for visiting a site. I would say another potential shortcoming is in designating individuals as part of cultural groups. While it may work with some participants, how would this type of research design work to study motivation in participants who consider themselves multicultural?
Trinh, T. T., & Ryan, C. (2017). Visitors to Heritage Sites: Motives and Involvement—A Model and Textual Analysis. Journal of Travel Research, 56(1), 67–80. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287515626305
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