TOURISM RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS
BY ERAN KETTER

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Many countries, cities and tourist destinations are considered risky or unsafe due to terror attacks, natural disasters, epidemics, crime waves, wars, coups, racial conflicts, social-economic disorders or political unrest. The association of places with danger or bloodshed is a serious obstacle to their attractiveness and is likely to have a negative affect on tourism and investments. The goal of this article is to present three kinds of strategies adopted by places all over the world in order to be perceived as safe: Media-focused strategies, message-focused strategies and audience-focused strategies. This paper is based on a variety of qualitative research methods and is the result of careful analysis of dozens of case studies, advertisements, public relations campaigns, press releases, academic articles, news articles, and websites of cities, countries and tourist destinations that were widely considered as unsafe as the result of sudden or ongoing crises.

Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter. (2008). Will We Be Safe There? Analyzing Strategies for Altering Unsafe Place Images. Journal of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 4 (3), 196-204.

Attracting international tourism to the countries of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is a key tool for social and economic development.  However, these countries must first battle the negative stereotypes associated with African countries and improve their place image. The current study examines the use of media strategies for altering place image on the official tourism websites of SSA countries, in relation to the countries' characteristics. Twenty-nine websites were analyzed using qualitative content analysis, examining texts, slogans and images. The results indicate that official tourism websites of SSA countries use eight types of media strategies, grouped by four place characteristics. These include the country’s location, political instability, presence UNESCO World Heritage sites, and level of development. The study's discussion elaborates on the relation between place characteristics and the choice of media strategies, and proposes a framework for the use of online media strategies in place marketing.

Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter (2010). Online Tourism Marketing for Sub Saharan African Countries: Battling stereotypes of high risk, hostility and under-development. International Journal of Tourism Policy, 3(4): 318-331

Traditionally, place marketing campaigns can be described using a linear model of communication, in which a source is delivering a message to a receiver. However, the unique characteristics of the social media turn web users from passive audience into active participants. Using a qualitative content analysis, the current study examined the type of relations between the core components of the communication process and the growing role of online users. The findings reveal that during the use of social media in place marketing campaigns, the distinction between the components of source, message and receiver fades as users gain more power and take an active role in the creation and distribution of campaign messages.

Eran Ketter and Eli Avraham (2012). The social revolution of place marketing: The growing power of users in social media campaigns. Journal of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 8(4): 285-294.

The current study presents media strategies to alter prolonged negative destination images, grouped in a new theoretical model. The model is based on a continuum between two groups of media strategies; on the one hand is the “cosmetic approach,” relating to strategies that mainly focus on altering the destination’s image. On the other hand is the “strategic approach,” relating to strategies that take comprehensive action, changing both the negative image and the problems causing it. The new model elaborates on the existing knowledge in the fields of tourism marketing in general and image restoration in particular, and draws conclusions for both academics and practitioners. Using qualitative content analysis, we searched for tourism marketing campaigns in various resources and media.

 

Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter (2013). Marketing Destinations with Prolonged Negative Images: Towards a new model. Tourism Geographies, 15(1): 145-164.

While the tourism marketing literature tends to present marketing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process, the current study suggests various destination marketing goals. Current literature is mainly concentrated on analyzing marketing strategies, tactics, tools and initiatives for enhancing and perceiving tourism, while other marketing goals were neglected, such as marketing unfamiliar destinations or promoting tourism during and after tourism crises. The purpose of this study is to propose a new model - “Destination Marketing Goals” (DMG) - which offers seven marketing goals for tourism destinations and the possible strategies marketers can use in order to reach each goal. The model was developed based on qualitative content analysis of campaigns on academic publications, news articles and destinations’ websites, focusing on destinations’ ads and marketing initiatives to attract tourists and visitors. The DMG model is aimed at expanding the theoretical discussion on the concept of "destination marketing" and "destination branding".

 

Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter (2015). One-size-fits-all? Differentiation in Destinations' Marketing Goals and Strategies to Achieve Them. Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 63(3): 337-349.

Marketing has a key role in tourism planning. Yet, the tourism planning literature offers a range of roles that marketing should take, extending from a secondary planning component to a leading factor that guides the entire planning process. To understand better the relative role of marketing in tourism planning, an exploratory study was conducted, looking at the interplay between tourism marketing and tourism planning in the context of regional planning. Using a quantitative content analysis of regional tourism master plans, this study aims to unveil the exact role of marketing in the tourism planning process. The study’s empirical results indicate that marketing plays a dynamic role in tourism planning, and that the specific contribution of marketing to tourism planning changes with the region’s level of development and planning needs. Based on these findings, a tentative theoretical model is proposed, portraying the dynamic relations between tourism performance and the level of marketing integration in tourism planning. This model replaces a prevailing theoretical notion, treating the role of marketing in tourism planning as a static, ‘one-size-fits-all’ process.

 

Eran Ketter, Yoel Mansfeld and Eli Avraham (2016). The role of marketing in tourism planning: overplay, underplay or interplay? Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 64(2): 135-148.

According to the image repair theory, destination image is a critical factor that should be cultivated and protected from crises. One important communication channel in times of crisis is the social media, with Facebook as the world's leading social network. In spite of Facebook's importance as a communication platform, it has received very limited attention in the literature of tourism crisis communication and image restoration. To bridge over this gap, the current study analysed the Nepal Tourism Board’s use of Facebook to restore its image following the Gurkha earthquake - an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude that took place on April 25th 2015. For this purpose, a qualitative content analysis was conducted on the posts, content, pictures and links posted on the Nepal Tourism Board’s Facebook page from April 25th to May 24th, 2015. The results of the study have shed light on the role of Facebook as a mean of image restoration and on its unique characteristics as a multi-functional tool that can be used to address diverse audiences, to conduct both formal and informal interactions, to post various kinds of information, to bypass the news media and to serve as an additional distribution channel.

 

Eran Ketter (2016). Destination Image Restoration on Facebook: The Case Study of Nepal's Gurkha Earthquake. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 28: 66-72.

Destination marketing during and following crises:
combating negative images in Asia

The goal of this study is to analyze which strategies Asian officials and marketers have adopted in order to combat stereotypes, negative perceptions, and crises in order to repair destination images and bring back visitors. The study includes qualitative content analyses of news reports, press interviews, and campaigns in order to uncover media policy, strategies, events, and marketing initiatives used since 2008. The conceptual framework used was the “multi-step model for altering place image”, which offers three types of strategies to use in order to repair a destination’s negative image during and after a crisis: source, message, and audience.

Eli Avraham & Eran Ketter (2016). Destination marketing during and following crises: combating negative images in Asia. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing.

Eating with EatWith:
Analyzing tourism sharing economy consumers

In recent years, a growing body of research has analyzed tourism sharing economy users. While several studies have revealed the specific motivations of tourists for participating in such activities, there is an apparent lacuna with regard to understanding the generic motivations of such consumers. In response to this literature gap, the current study explores the motivations of these users, aiming to shed light on their values, lifestyles and consumption preferences. The motivations of sharing economy users were examined using a quantitative survey involving 738 consumers of EatWith - a global sharing economy marketplace that offers a communal dining experience. The study's findings indicate that EatWith users have the generic primary motivation of achievement. The findings present several contributions to scholars and practitioners, and propose that sharing economy users are affected both by the specific motivations of social considerations, environmental considerations and economic considerations, as well as their primary motivations of ideals, achievement and self-expression.

Eran Ketter (2017). Eating with EatWith: Analyzing Tourism Sharing Economy Consumers. Current Issues in Tourism.

Destination image repair while combatting crises:
Tourism marketing in Africa

The current study analyzes the media strategies used by Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries to repair their destination image during and after crisis, and attract international tourism. There has been to date a dearth of academic studies that looked at the marketing and branding of destinations in SSA. The few studies that have appeared on this topic focused primarily on a single case study, rather than examining various models and theories that belong to the field of image repair. We therefore sought to analyze a variety of case studies to look for common strategies among SSA nations. The conceptual framework used in this research was the "multi-step model for altering place image". The study was based on qualitative content analyses of news reports, press interviews, campaigns and other marketing initiatives. These items were located in three sources between the years 2008-2015: official websites and social media pages of the national tourism boards of SSA countries, news reports about African countries published in three main international media outlets, and reports in a global tourism news website.

The study’s conclusions show that SSA marketers and policy makers used three groups of strategies to promote their destinations during and after tourism crises: (1) source-focused strategies (media cooperation and media relations, physical/economic threats and media blockage, and internet use as an alternative source), (2) message-focused strategies (ignoring the crisis, negative image acknowledgement, scale of crisis reduction, counter-message delivery, association with well-known brands and celebrities, tackling the crisis and the spin of liabilities into assets), and (3) audience-focused strategies (patriotism and personal/national heritage, and target audience change). We discovered that despite the differences among the countries, marketers in this area have adopted similar strategies to combat crises in order to repair destination images.

Eli Avraham and Eran Ketter (2017). Destination Image Repair while Combatting Crises: Tourism Marketing in Africa. Tourism Geographies.