Measuring the gaps in the projected image and perceived image of rural tourism destinations in China's Yangtze River Delta

Xialei DUAN, Lawal Mohammed MARAFA, Chung-Shing CHAN, Han XU, Ting On Lewis CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) at all levels have an ultimate goal of building strong and positive images for their destinations. However, the projected image from the supply side is not necessarily the mirror of the perceived image from the demand side. This study adopted the content analysis method to evaluate the projected image and perceived image of rural destinations in China to see whether there is any discrepancy between and within the two categories. Comparative analysis of different information sources including web contents and on-site visitor interviews were processed. The evaluation of image congruency demonstrates that official websites focus more on cognitive image elements (knowledge and beliefs of the place). Besides promoting attractions, it provides information on geography background and promotes local culture. Business web content promotes attractions, package tour, and activities which can generate revenue. The perceived image includes more sentiment contents: on-site visitors expressed more negative attitude, but social media comments are relatively positive. Copyright © 2020 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5121
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Citation

Duan, X., Marafa, L. M., Chan, C.-S., Xu, H., & Cheung, L. T. O. (2020). Measuring the gaps in the projected image and perceived image of rural tourism destinations in China's Yangtze River Delta. Sustainability, 12(12). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125121

Keywords

  • Destination image
  • Projected image
  • Perceived image
  • Content analysis
  • Rural tourism

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