The Research Process

The following pages were created to allow hospitality and tourism managers to familiarize themselves with some of the basic quantitative and qualitative research techniques, concepts and terminology. The objective is to provide this information in an easily accessible format and non-technical language, and link it to references for more in-depth information and other research sites. To the extent possible, industry examples have been used to illustrate points. This project is ongoing insofar as the site will be expanded over time to cover more research methods and statistics. The undertaking was made possible with the generous support of the Ontario Hostelry Institute, AMEX Canada and Ryerson Polytechnic University.

The research process involves six distinct phases, although they are not always completely linear, since research is iterative (earlier phases influence later ones, while later ones can influence the early phases). Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of a good researcher is the unwillingness to take shortcuts, to rush through the research. It is important to keep an open mind to recognize changes that must be accommodated to ensure the reliability and validity of the research.

Six Phases of the Research Process

  1. Problem Definition
  2. Literature review
  3. Selection of Research Design, Subjects and Data Collection Techniques
  4. Data Gathering
  5. Data Processing and Analysis
  6. Implications, Conclusions and Recommendations


This Tourism Research Webring site owned by Dr. Marion Joppe.
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