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Qualitative vs. quantitative research techniques in tourism

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Quantitative methods.
    1. Domination of quantitative methods in tourism.
    2. Factors to be considered.
    3. The kind of marketing research required.
    4. Importance of differentiating primary data and secondary data.
    5. Quantification of the data.
  3. Quantitative techniques.
    1. Hypothesis testing.
    2. Correlation and regression analysis.
    3. The discriminant analysis.
    4. Factor analysis and cluster analysis.
  4. Explanation of a quantitative research.
  5. Drawbacks of quantitative methods.
  6. Qualitative techniques.
    1. Focus on the typology of motivations in tourism.
    2. Direct methods.
  7. Usefulness of Indirect qualitative methods.
  8. Examples of qualitative research.
  9. Evaluation of qualitative methods and the impact.
  10. Conclusion.
  11. Bibliography.

Research in the field of tourism has not been very important until the early nineteen seventies; it has begun to spread only since that time. Marketing research is a broad concept including various techniques, but a main distinction should be done between quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative techniques describe variables by assigning a number ? representing an attitude, opinion or motivation- which can be statistically analyzed. In contrast, qualitative research focuses on attitudes, opinions and motivations in the words of each respondent, but without quantifying it. Quantitative methods have always dominated in tourism, as it often appears as more reliable, since it is based on facts that can be observed, and then analysed. However, qualitative techniques have become to be more and more used for the last decade. Each technique has obviously specific advantages and drawbacks; that is why it is necessary to examine both in different contexts, especially in tourism research. As Alf H. Walle reported in his report called ?Quantitative versus Qualitative Research in Tourism?, ?plurality of equally valid research strategies exist within tourism. Choice must be thus determined according to the situation in which the research takes place.?

[...] The names differ, but the idea here is always the same: depending on the research needs, qualitative and quantitative techniques must, to prove useful, be used in combination and can't be considered as isolated methods. As Walle reported in his ?Quantitative versus qualitative tourism research? report, the purpose of qualitative research is provide information for developing further quantitative research?. Qualitative techniques should therefore be used to frame or enrich quantitative data, or to test hypotheses, concepts and theories. The study edited by M. [...]

[...] In this case, both qualitative and quantitative techniques have played a specific role, and this research couldn't have been carried out otherwise due to the complementarity of both methods. Another study where qualitative research has been used as a frame before the quantitative analysis can be cited as an example. N. Rao's Tourism in South Asia? report used qualitative techniques to understand who sex tourists are, and why they behave so. The results showed they were in most cases ethno-centric, chauvinistic, male-determined and patriarchal. [...]

[...] Three different techniques can be used in a depth interview; laddering, hidden issue questioning and symbolic analysis have a lot of advantages, but can present drawbacks as well. Depth interviews enable to cover personal or difficult topics without influence of other people, they are easier to structure, and more detailed than focus groups, and aren't biased as each response can be attributed to a particular respondent. Despite this, their major disadvantage is that they require skilled interviewers, which can be expensive and difficult to find, the completeness and quality of results depending on the interviewer. [...]

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