Making sense of tourists' photographs using canonical variate analysis.
Tourists’ photographs can be a rich database for researchers wishing to study tourists’ perceptions and attitudes towards destinations. Such data can also be useful in examining how tourists behave, where, when, with whom and why. Many researchers favour the qualitative analysis of such data, which requires the use either of relatively small numbers of photographs or a considerable expense of researcher time and effort to undertake. Much of this process is speculative, in that it involves working with variables which may or may not prove to be significant in addressing the hypotheses set for the research. This research note recommends the use of a preliminary phase of research in which a quantitative approach is used to reduce the number of variables needing to be coded. Canonical variate analysis is suggested as an appropriate tool for achieving this. Case study results are presented to demonstrate the utility of this approach.