The purpose of this study is to examine changes to tourists’ image of a destination throughout a trip experience. Using Blackberry technology, a group of Canadian student travelers to Peru were asked to record images and experience about their trip during several key moments (pre-trip, upon arrival, half-way, departure, and post-trip). The results of this mixed methods study indicate that tourists’ destination image is dynamic and continuously evolving throughout their trip, and various incidents during the trip could impact it. Of particular importance are the impressions made upon arrival and departure, as they are powerful determinants of post-trip images. Affective image appear to be rather haphazard during the trip whereas most respondents’ cognitive image follows a specific pattern where the subjects go through an adjustment period at the beginning of the trip (resulting in lowered scores) but then rebound in a positive direction from that point. Further, post-trip cognitive scores tend to continue to rise significantly while affective scores tend to return to pre-trip levels.
For those that want to cite this...
Smith, W.W., Li, R., Pan, B., Witte, M., & Doherty, S. (2014). Tracking Destination Image Across Trip Experience with Smartphone Technology. Tourism Management.