Minding the Gap Between Perceived and Projected Destination Image by Using Information and Communication Platforms and Software

Minding the Gap Between Perceived and Projected Destination Image by Using Information and Communication Platforms and Software

Victor Alexandru Briciu (Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania), Florin Nechita (Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania), Robert Demeter (Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania) and Androniki Kavoura (University of West Attica, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCMHS.2019070101
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The article examines a double case study framework for analyzing perceived and projected destinations by using ITC solutions. First, 22,362 photos tagged with “Brasov” were collected and analyzed using the Flickr API. Second, a descriptive-explanatory research was employed, applying an instrument for the analysis and to address the online identity of place brands where a proposed online platform generates an automatic score calculation. The spatial patterns of tourist activity revealed many similarities and differences compared to promoted attractions by the DMOs, as the results indicated that geotagged photos reflect the projected image of the destination as the data provided a hotspot distribution of popular tourist attractions. The article makes a theoretical and practical contribution: (a) visual imagery may be more fully implemented in research studies; and (b) the distribution of popular tourist attractions may be in synergy between the perceived and projected image of a destination. Implications for marketing managers are presented.
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Photographs play a crucial role in the promotion of tourism destinations and they should be seen as legitimate agents of inquiry although tourism research has favored textual data over visual data (Balomenou and Garrod, 2019, Kavoura and Nechita, 2017). Researchers have been relatively slow to capitalise on the potential of visual data analysis techniques (Garrod, 2007) while researchers have brought out the benefits that exist when perceived online destination images are taken into consideration in the promotional efforts of managers in charge of projected online destination images (Stepchenkova and Zhan, 2013, Michaelidou, Siamagka, Moraes and Micevski, 2013, Mak, 2017). Research (Pan, Lee and Tsai, 2014) has indicated that photos are more suited to reflect the affective images of places from tourists’ perspectives. Extracting and understanding tourists’ point of interest from geotagged photos has been the focus of many researchers (Kisilevich, Mansmann, Bak, Keim and Tchaikin, 2010). The image-based content sharing platforms typically have higher rates of geo-tagging. For example, 80% of images in the now-defunct Google Panoramio were geotagged, and most Flickr photos are geotagged where Flickr is the second social medium mostly used where the extraction of useful content from images and videos is easier from tags from content sharing web sites (Bae and Yun, 2017).

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