Information sources for visitors' first awareness of a low profile attraction
This is the first study to investigate the source of visitor first awareness of a low profile attraction. Questionnaire responses from 976 walk-in visitors to South Carolina's Francis Beidler Forest reveal word of mouth (WOM) as the most important source, followed by regionally placed brochures and local highway signage. Sample segmentation indicated that local residents are more likely to experience habitual exposure based on routine travel and newspaper subscriptions, while visitors from other parts of South Carolina exhibit social exposure as indicated by a much higher rate of WOM citation. Out of state and international visitors are more likely to experience opportunistic exposure through encounters with tourism publications and with brochures encountered at state welcome centers and in accommodations or attractions in the greater Charleston area.
Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing