Refereed academic paper for presentation
The stories that travellers tell provide valuable insight to tourism managers responsible for shaping travel experiences. Access to consumer stories has never been greater due to the rise of online forums, reviews, and blogs (Gretzel, Fesenmaier, Lee, & Tussyadiah, 2010). Yet, researchers’ ability to make sense of these stories is limited by current theoretical and methodological approaches. We contend that there is an opportunity to develop new approaches to measure customer experience using advanced text analysis and sentiment indices. Specifically, we use narrative theory to explain the importance of emotional peaks and valleys in stories and propose a natural language processing (NLP) approach to identify and profile the issues that greatly impact on travellers’ experiences. Our narrative text-analytic approach is demonstrated using interview data describing 428 cross-border shopping experiences.