Sign consumption and sign promotion in visitor attractions: A netnography of the visitor experience in Titanic Belfast

Pavlos Paraskevaidis, Adi Weidenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
93 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: Drawing upon Baudrillard’s concept of sign-value, this study aims to investigate consumer behavior and sign perception in visitor attractions. Design/methodology/approach: By adopting netnography, 133 customer-to-customer reviews sourced from TripAdvisor were analyzed regarding visitors’ online post-visit impressions. Findings: The findings reveal that netnography contributes to a deeper understanding of sign consumption and sign promotion and examines how visitors attribute symbolic meanings to their experience in Titanic Belfast. Practical implications: The findings show that the co-creation and reevaluation of the visitor experience through consumers’ online reviews should be taken into account by both managers and marketers. Furthermore, advertising should avoid creating excessive expectations to visitors to decrease the possibility of negative disconfirmation, which can be easily and instantly spread online. Another implication concerns the winning awards of visitor attractions, hotels and restaurants of a destination which may be used as a basis of co-branding marketing campaigns to enhance destination brand image. Social implications: This study continues the debate on the commodification of the visitor experience and the commercialization of visitor attractions. Originality/value: This paper provides better understanding of sign-value, sign consumption and sign promotion in the visitor attraction sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1955
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019

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Keywords

  • Netnography
  • Sign consumption
  • Sign promotion
  • Titanic Belfast
  • Visitor attractions
  • Visitor experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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