A comparison of pre-visit beliefs and projected visual images of destinations
Destination image is one of the main decision factors for tourists' destination choice. The aim of this study is to compare the perception of consumers' destination image and the actual projected image of DMOs. Two studies are conducted to reach this aim. The first study was an online survey regarding the destination image of selected US cities from the consumer side. The second one was a qualitative study to investigate the visual representation of the destination image of the same cities from the supply side by analyzing their official destination websites. Although the results show an overall match between the two studies, weather conditions, natural views, and shopping were the mismatched topics. The results of this study suggests how the DMOs official communication might benefit from a monitoring/understanding of their perceived image by prospective travelers in order to match tourists' expectations, and/or better place their images.
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