Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Xinran Y. Lehto

Committee Member 1

Mark Lehto

Committee Member 2

Li Miao


This study attempts to explore destination image interpretation in the context of two cultural groups (US and China) and two information sources (Blog and Destination Management Organization website). Semantic Network Analysis was employed to obtain a visual representation and comparison of perceived destination image categories of Marrakesh across groups. Computer-Aided Textual Analysis software, AutoMap3.0 Program and ROST Content Mining System, were used initially for data preparation and keywords analysis, and UCINET 6 was then applied to conduct semantic network analysis such as centrality analysis and network structure measurements. The results indicated that the perceived image of Marrakesh varies by the different online information sources and cultural groups. In addition, features of the two specific information sources and cultures were discussed to explain the discrepancies and similarities. The study also underscores affective attributes in destination image perception by combing both quantitative and qualitative methods in the research. Practical and theoretical implications were demonstrated to shed light on managing and marketing desired destination images.