Avoiding uninformed responses in destination image questionnaires

Pike, Steven D. (2007) Avoiding uninformed responses in destination image questionnaires. In International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators (ISTTE) conference., ISTTE, Charleston, SC.


Since the first destination image studies were published in the early 1970s, the field has become one of the most popular in the tourism literature. While reviews of the destination image literature show no commonly agreed conceptualisation of the construct, researchers have predominantly used structured questionnaires for measurement. There has been criticism that the way some of these scales have been selected means a greater likelihood of attributes being irrelevant to participants. This opens up the risk of stimulating uninformed responses. The issue of uninformed response was first raised as a source of error 60 years ago. However, there has been little, if any, discussion in relation to destination image measurement, studies of which often require participants to provide opinion-driven rather than fact-based responses. This paper reports the trial of a ‘don’t know’ (DK) non-response option for participants in two destination image questionnaires. It is suggested the use of a DK option provides participants with an alternative to i) skipping the question, ii) using the scale midpoint to denote neutrality, or iii) providing an uninformed response. High levels of DK usage by participants can then alert the marketer of the need to improve awareness of destination performance for potential salient attributes.

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ID Code: 58039
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2013 23:21
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 15:41

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