Xinran Y. Lehto


Hospitality and Tourism Management


Hospitality and Tourism Management


content analysis, destination image, projected, perceived, Tanzania, volunteer


While Tanzania has enjoyed increasing popularity as a tourism destination, there is a lack of research on Tanzania's tourism image. Tanzania 's tourism growth, however, depends upon the congruency of its projected and perceived images.

This research examines the government's projected image of Tanzania and measures its congruency with the image perceived by past visitors to Tanzania. The study utilized the Tanzania Tourist Board and Tanzania Travel and Tourism Online websites as well as 364 blogs on travel to Tanzania between 2003 and 2008 from TravelPod.

This research presents valuable information on the congruency of Tanzania's images and identifies the growing volunteer travel market and the changing perceived image of Tanzania.

Results indicate that there is a relative level of congruency between the projected and perceived images of Tanzania however many visitors are beginning to note the negative effects of tourism on the local communities.

Furthermore, while the government is attempting to project Tanzania as a business and leisure destination, Tanzania is currently only being perceived in online travel blogs as a leisure destination.

This research emphasizes the recommendation that destination marketing organizations continually study the perceived image of their destination and consider the impacts of tourism especially on its environment, economy and culture.

Because of the difficulty of controlling the image perceived by online word-of-mouth, it is imperative that negative images and impacts be promptly addressed to ensure congruency between a destination’s projected image and perceived image.

A projected destination image that is true to itself and true to its targeted consumers is one of the key factors for destination marketing success.