The Role of the Global Fast Food Chains in Tourism: A Qualitative Internet-Based Study
Authors: Osman, H. and Johns, N.
Conference: 8th Biennial International Qualitative Research Conference
Dates: 6-8 September 2010
Publisher: Bournemouth University
Place of Publication: Poole, EnglandAbstract:
This article discusses the use of Internet data in a qualitative study into the role of global fast food chains in the worldwide tourist experience. This topic is of practical and theoretical interest in the study of tourism. Data was collected by accessing discussion materials in the public domain concerning tourists and global companies such as McDonald’s and Starbucks. Analysis was conducted using a grounded theory approach. A series of interviews was conducted on the subject of travel and fast food, then analysed accordingly. Results are presented and various methodological issues are discussed. The practicalities of accessing participants worldwide, obtaining feedback with minimal intrusion, differentiating between different categories of respondent, differentiating open discussion from advertising and other potentially biased material, and verifying the information gathered from the internet is organised . The philosophical questions arising from the study, such as the classification and web identities of tourists, their motivation and the minimisation of bias is discussed. In addition, the ethical implications of a web-based study of this kind are identified and discussed.
Preferred by: Hanaa Osman