With regard to the new approach intending to establish a closer relationship with tourists, there could be many possible kinds of research goals:
- Tourists’ needs, problems, and concerns in view of identifying insecurities and discomforts to be addressed through improvement or development of new services and facilities.
- Tourists’ motivations and aspirations to sense the convenience of developing new products or even revamping the destination model towards a 3.0 model to satisfy the aim for mission driven tourism activities.
- Tourists’ opinions to pre-test ideas on new products or marketing initiatives, to ensure their viability and adequate development.
In this point, research should be conducted on the issues that concern the creative society, to better orientate on defining missions that engage the human spirit of most stakeholders. The researched issues are to be chosen by the Destination Management Organization (DMO) with room for participation of local private stakeholders, as with the quantitative surveys. These research goals are to be attained through qualitative methods, such as in-depth interviews and focus groups to get a deeper insight on the researched issues. The access to the sample is here a bit more complicated than in other research projects. Hereby are envisioned some ways to identify the desired sample representatives, bearing in mind that these have to be selected according to specific criteria related to the research goals in every case:
- In the quantitative surveys, through which the pollsters know their sociological and motivational profile
- In social media discussions about the destination and topics related to the research goals
- In the accommodation, in collaboration with the supplier
- On-site when practicing activities related to the research goals
To successfully carry out this task it is necessary to clearly define the target profiles and get the cooperation of the local service suppliers such as accommodation and activity suppliers, which ultimately also benefit from such research. Once identified suitable candidates, these should be invited to participate in a meeting with an interviewer or a focus group, in exchange for a voucher for some of the destination’s services.
The outcomes of the qualitative research are to provide insights and ideas which serve as a basis for further research with quantitative methods.
Would you consider any other goal when researching for tourists insights?