Qualitative online research in tourism – a systematic review of the literature

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Tourism Review


© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to present a systematic review of tourism articles using qualitative online methods. By focussing on tourism journals, this work explores the paradigmatic beliefs, methodological approaches and methods underpinning tourism qualitative online research. Design/methodology/approach: This review was conducted systematically by following the reporting checklist of the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Findings: Overall, this systematic review indicates that the ontological and epistemological beliefs guiding online research are not clearly expressed by tourism scholars. It also shows that the possibility of using the internet for more interactive and participatory forms of research has not been fully explored by tourism scholars. Research limitations/implications: This paper expands tourism scholars’ awareness of the range of qualitative approaches/methods available by suggesting additional research instruments that could replace or complement the traditional ones. However, by selecting only indexed journal papers, other sources of publications, such as papers published in non-Scopus and non-Web-of-Science journals, books, book chapters and conference papers, were not included in the current review. Originality/value: This work emphasizes the important role of cyberspace in facilitating virtual interactions between researchers and participants in the co-construction of qualitative empirical material.

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