Date of Award

8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. Shelia J. Backman, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Mazer, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Kenneth F. Backman

Committee Member

Dr. Muzaffer Uysal

Abstract

Paris, France is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the contemporary tourism industry. In November 2015, Paris experienced the deadliest terror attacks in its history. Newspapers and broadcast media spread the information through news, while masses have utilized social media to get instant information. The main purpose of this study is to explore how the destination image of the capital of France, Paris, is affected by the terror crisis. The study has explored user-generated social media data before, during, and after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris to understand factors of the destination image. Correspondingly, by accessing online communication data, the study has explored agenda setters of the destination. Additionally, this research has gone one step further by utilizing destination image themes found in online communication, to look at the effects of time on sentiments towards a destination. Exploring perceptions of destination image through social media communication is a novel approach in tourism research. This research may enable tourism players to better understand destinations' tourism products. As well, this perspective may help destination marketers in the future to overcome shifts in brand image during a terror crisis by understanding the relationship between sentiments towards destination image themes with respect to time. In sum, this study has stimulated better planning for sustainable brand image in tourism practices as an exemplary model for any destination. The study has been conducted using unstructured social media data and sequential mixed methods research design. First step was qualitative analysis using NVivo software, to understand the destination image themes. Second step was quantitative analysis of variables using SPSS software.

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