Chapter 3: The Isles of Scilly-setting the context
3.3 Chapter summary
The discussion, within this chapter, has demonstrated the suitability of the Isles of Scilly as a case study location for image research. In order for the Isles of Scilly to be deemed suitable it was necessary that the conceptual themes, previously identified, were applicable to the islands. Key themes including islandness, community and peripherality were observed in relation to the Isles of Scilly, evident throughout the discussion. Many of the intangible themes, contributing to islandness, are identifiable with regards to the geography of the Isles of Scilly, but also with reference to the islands' history. It is concluded that the islands are able to aptly portray the relevant conceptual themes. In assessing the Isles of Scilly as a case study location it was necessary to establish whether diversity was evident in the product offered by the archipelago as a tourism destination. The discussion of the individual islands identified great diversity within a small geographical area. This has the potential to have positive
implications for the collection of data in this location. The product base for tourism, in the Isles of Scilly, offers variety, but also includes a number of niches or areas of special interest.
Respondents with specific interests such as archaeology, botany or ornithology, may be of vital importance if variation in image is to be found. It is clear that the product offer is multi-faceted, broad enough certainly for this research, with identifiable specific interest niches. The final component for assessment, in establishing the suitability of the Isles of Scilly as a case study location, was the nature of tourism. It has been shown that although the Isles of Scilly offers a seasonal tourism product, efforts made to attract shoulder season visitation may produce variation in image. Consequently, the Isles of Scilly have been deemed a suitable location for this image research to be conducted. Further discussion of their selection over alternative destinations is detailed in Chapter 4.1.2. It is now necessary to identify the methodological approach and research design for this study.
Chapter 4: Methodology
This methodology chapter details the mixed method approach employed in both the collection and analysis of data amassed in this study. Rationale for such an approach is provided and the considerations made, in the dismissal of alternative methods are documented. In order to provide a clear outline of the methods utilised in this thesis, this chapter is divided into five distinct sections. First, this chapter explores the methodological approach and research design adopted in this research (section 4.1). Here the methodologies adopted in previous studies measuring destination image are explored in order to establish an appropriate research design for this thesis. The philosophical underpinning of this research is presented (section 4.1.1) and the aims and objectives of this study are discussed in relation to pragmatism. The suitability of such a paradigm in tourism research is explored. The rationale and value of a case study approach is provided (section 4.1.2), before the suitability of the Isles of Scilly as a case study destination (section 4.1.3) is discussed. Section 4.2 refers to the sources and methods utilised in secondary data collection. Here secondary research, collated throughout this study, including passenger data (section 4.2.1), website content (section 4.2.2), and travel blogs (section 4.2.3) are described. The value of such sources in achieving the research aims is also established. This chapter continues in section 4.3 where methods of primary data collection are examined. First, the ability of a mixed methods approach, to meet the research aims and objectives outlined in Chapter 1, is established (section 4.3.1). Discussion of quantitative research methods (4.3.2) identifies the use of a face to face questionnaire and details key considerations regarding the survey instrument, sample, questionnaire distribution and ethical research practices. The use of pre-pilot and pilot studies to trial such an approach are also documented. The use of qualitative research methods is then outlined (section 4.3.3). This
section highlights the ability of qualitative methods to supplement quantitative research, enabling the testing of all hypotheses. The use of semi-structured interviews and details of the sample, interview schedule and ethical considerations are documented. Pre-pilot and pilot studies, which informed the qualitative methods utilised in this study are also considered. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are discussed in relation to their validity, consistency and suitability, given the philosophical groundings of this investigation. The fourth section details the methods of data analysis used on both quantitative and qualitative data (section 4.4). First the analysis of quantitative data using Chi-square, Factor Analysis, Cluster Analysis, ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc test is addressed (section 4.4.1). Discussion considers the suitability of each of these methods and establishes key requirements of the data. Methods employed in the analysis of qualitative data are then discussed (section 4.4.2). The value of thematic content analysis is established and suitability of the framework method addressed. The use of software packages, which support the management and analysis of primary and secondary data, is then documented (section 4.4.3). Here the role and value of IBM SPSS and Nvivo, in facilitating data analysis, is explored before a succinct summary of the methodology chapter is provided (section 4.5).