What have they heard? Pre-visit image of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination

Siriwardana, Sajith and Chaminda, J W Dushan and Rathnayake, Dilan T (2019) What have they heard? Pre-visit image of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. South Asian Journal of Management, 26 (2). pp. 181-205.

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Nearly a decade has passed since the end of the civil-conflict which prevailed for 30-long years in Sri Lanka. Despite the evocative dark patches, tourism industry made a significant contribution to rebuild this nation during this period. However, efforts to answer even the most basic questions including, "How do tourists view Sri Lanka as a tourist destination?", have been noticeably inadequate. This paper thus, aims to explore the pre-visit destination image held by tourists regarding Sri Lanka and the role played by information sources in forming such a pre-visit image. Having conducted 25 semi-structured interviews with overseas tourists, who have not gained any travel exposure in Sri Lanka, the findings, derived from a thematic analysis, suggested that the respondents have a favourable pre-visit image, overall, towards the country. While word-of-mouth has been influential in forming such a favourable image, the government-maintained information sources were viewed in a supportive capacity.