A major tourism association wanted to understand more about consumers' perceptions of, and satisfaction with, their vacation destination. They were interested in defining the typical destination visitor (both satisfied and dissatisfied), understanding what positive and negative perceptions existed about their destination, developing a comparative measure of satisfaction for the competitive set of areas visited.


Initiated a combination qualitative and onsite quantitative research design measuring close to 5,000 respondents.


There was considerable cognitive dissonance identified. Among all respondents there was a recognition of a generally negative word of mouth, while actual vacationers who visited the destination had overall positive experiences. Recommended action was to better showcase the positive experiences of past destination visitors in a new communication initiative to prospects. Further research provided a refined target visitor profile, based on demographic and lifestyle characteristics that were most highly correlated with a positive experience.