Mixed methods research in tourism: a systematic sequential approach

Mason, Peter, Augustyn, Marcjanna M. and Seakhoa-King, Arthur (2021) Mixed methods research in tourism: a systematic sequential approach. Folia Turistica, 56. pp. 1-26. ISSN 2353-5962


This article discusses the use of mixed methods research in tourism. It provides the rationale for the use of mixed methods and discusses the context in which this was chosen and used. It outlines the major research philosophies, and their advantages and disadvantages, and discusses the systematic, sequential, step-by-step research processes that were employed. The article also analyses the potential usefulness of specific qualitative data collection techniques.

The context of the article was a study investigating what tourists associate with tourism destination quality (henceforth referred to as the TDQ study). The article indicates the nature of the phases of research in the TDQ study, beginning with the qualitative exploratory research involved. It discusses how questions were designed, and the pre-testing and piloting of questions and research techniques. It provides details on the main qualitative and subsequent quantitative phases of the research.

The article argues that an initial systematic qualitative phase of research can be used within an overall mixed methods approach to precede a quantitative phase with a successful outcome in terms of robust and rigorous research findings. Additionally, the results of the pilot study data indicate the superiority of the in–depth interviews technique over focus group interviews and open-ended questionnaires in terms of the technique’s effectiveness, efficiency, and ability to generate in-depth, detailed and unique data.

Research and conclusion limitation:
The article discusses only one case study in detail.

Practical implication:
Although not intended to be prescriptive, this article could be used as a blueprint for those involved in research involving similar methodology.

This article advances knowledge of the effectiveness of mixed method methodologies and techniques in tourism studies. By providing a detailed account of a systematic sequential mixed method approach, the paper provides insights into and a potential blueprint for researchers interested in conducting such research.

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