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Identifying the relative importance of culture in Indigenous tourism experiences: netnographic evidence from Australia

Holder, Afiya; Ruhanen, Lisa

Authors

Lisa Ruhanen



Abstract

Previous studies exploring demand for Indigenous tourism have addressed a variety of aspects including market segmentation and clustering, as well as motivations, interest and visitor satisfaction with Indigenous tourism experiences. Less researched is the importance visitors place on the cultural elements of an Indigenous tourism experience. A qualitative netnographic approach was adopted to explore international visitors’ post-consumption narratives of their Indigenous tourism experiences in Australia. Four thousand six hundred and eighty-four TripAdvisor reviews of 38 Indigenous tourism products and experiences in Australia were analysed. The analysis showed that visitors placed most importance on the servicescape, that is, the physical elements and ambient environment of the experience, ahead of the cultural elements of the experience. Although culture or the Indigenous content per se was not the most important factor identified post-experience, visitors did focus on the service-oriented nature and professionalism of the guide. The findings of this study expand the existing literature on Indigenous tourism and recommendations for Indigenous tourism businesses are made regarding the importance of the servicescape to the Indigenous tourism experience.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 4, 2017
Online Publication Date May 9, 2017
Publication Date Jul 3, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2023
Journal Tourism Recreation Research
Print ISSN 0250-8281
Electronic ISSN 2320-0308
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 3
Pages 316-326
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2017.1316443
Keywords Indigenous tourism, Indigenous culture, netnography, servicescape