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Exploring the market appeal of Indigenous tourism: A netnographic perspective

Holder, Afiya; Ruhanen, Lisa


Lisa Ruhanen


Indigenous tourism in Australia continues to decline in spite of the global marketing efforts of the country’s national tourism organization. One suggestion is that social desirability bias in previous visitor demand studies has been masking the underlying causes for this low market appeal. A netnographic approach was adopted in this exploratory study that utilized 4684 online reviews from international visitors to elicit qualitative insights into visitor’s satisfaction and dissatisfaction with their Indigenous tourism experiences in Australia, with the aim of uncovering the underlying factors which may account for declining visitor demand. The netnographic approach provided a wealth of insights into the aspects of the experience that visitors viewed both favourably and unfavourably. In fact, it is demonstrated that international visitors are overwhelmingly positive about their experiences, a finding not typically supported in the existing research. As such, this study has highlighted that there is a dissonance between those who actually participate in an Indigenous experience and non-visitors; a number of potential reasons for this are discussed, as are the marketing implications.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 10, 2018
Publication Date 2019-04
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2023
Journal Journal of Vacation Marketing
Print ISSN 1356-7667
Electronic ISSN 1479-1870
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 2
Pages 149-161
Keywords Demand, Indigenous tourism, market appeal, marketing, netnography, social desirability bias