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Abstract

The goal of this study is to provide a preliminary assessment of the representation of tourism destinations through a major search engine. A three-step analysis was conducted with the focus on assessing: 1) the visibility of tourism-related information regarding 30 tourist destinations within the United States; 2) the visibility of various industry sectors within 3 selected destinations; and, 3) a comparison of domain URLs of search results on a major destination. The findings show that, although there is huge amount of information indexed travelers can only access a tiny fraction of this information. Also, there are a number of dominant players among the Web pages suggested by the search engine. This study provides insights into the challenges the tourism industry is faced with when promoting a destination. It also offers several implications for developing tools and marketing strategies for the tourism industry.

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ONLINE REPRESENTATION OF TOURISM: AN ANALYSIS OF SEARCH RESULTS FROM A MAJOR SEARCH ENGINE

The goal of this study is to provide a preliminary assessment of the representation of tourism destinations through a major search engine. A three-step analysis was conducted with the focus on assessing: 1) the visibility of tourism-related information regarding 30 tourist destinations within the United States; 2) the visibility of various industry sectors within 3 selected destinations; and, 3) a comparison of domain URLs of search results on a major destination. The findings show that, although there is huge amount of information indexed travelers can only access a tiny fraction of this information. Also, there are a number of dominant players among the Web pages suggested by the search engine. This study provides insights into the challenges the tourism industry is faced with when promoting a destination. It also offers several implications for developing tools and marketing strategies for the tourism industry.