Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Gregory Ramshaw

Committee Member

William Norman

Committee Member

Alana Seaman


Popular culture tourism can present itself in many forms including travel based on popular literature, film, and television series. Popular culture tourism destinations exist from the assumption that tourists wish to visit destinations based on their popular culture connections. In fact, destinations may choose to emphasize their popular culture connections for the purpose of attracting more visitors. Such is the case with Sleepy Hollow, New York, which has many popular culture connections including the original short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. Using the village of Sleepy Hollow as an example, the purpose of this study is to understand if tourists are making connections to popular culture in Sleepy Hollow, including the original short story as well as its many adaptations, and if so, to which adaptations are they making connections. The study employs a social constructionist perspective and uses qualitative methods. Thematic analysis was conducted using electronic word of mouth (eWOM) data collected from prior visitors’ reviews published online. Findings suggest tourists do make connections to popular culture, attractions within the study site employ different ways of demonstrating the connections to popular culture, and the connections can be explicit or implicit. Armed with the understanding of visitors’ perceptions of popular culture, destination managers can make informed decisions for the marketing and branding of a destination, making popular culture tourism a viable market segment for tourism operators.

Included in

Tourism Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.