Presenter Bios

Ara Pachmayer, Ph.D.

Ara Pachmayer is an assistant professor at Humboldt State University. Her research interests include international education, impacts of tourism development on community life, sustainable tourism development and qualitative research methods, the common thread in the research being how people experience tourism and the resulting impacts on communities and individuals.

Kathleen Andereck, Ph.D.

Kathleen Andereck is a professor and Director of the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the tourism experience from the perspective of both visitors and residents particularly as it applies to sustainable tourism. She is an associate editor for three academic journals.

Abstract

Photo elicitation is a natural research technique for the field of tourism as most tourists take photographs to document their travel. Viewing photographs can often enhance memories and the impact of photos on memory is especially useful in the interview process. Among other benefits of the photo elicitation method, a participant may answer questions in greater detail when presented with a photograph as the photo can help the mind recall experiences more clearly and deeply (Cederholm, 2004; Clark-Ibanez, 2004). This paper presents the advantages and disadvantages of the photo elicitation method, how the method was used in a study on the travel experiences of study abroad participants, and a discussion on the impact of the method on the study.

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Photo elicitation in tourism research: investigating the travel experiences of study abroad participants

Photo elicitation is a natural research technique for the field of tourism as most tourists take photographs to document their travel. Viewing photographs can often enhance memories and the impact of photos on memory is especially useful in the interview process. Among other benefits of the photo elicitation method, a participant may answer questions in greater detail when presented with a photograph as the photo can help the mind recall experiences more clearly and deeply (Cederholm, 2004; Clark-Ibanez, 2004). This paper presents the advantages and disadvantages of the photo elicitation method, how the method was used in a study on the travel experiences of study abroad participants, and a discussion on the impact of the method on the study.