Is a Mixed-Method Approach suitable for a Destination Image Assessment? A Lake Tourism Study as an Example

  • Ana Rodrigues
  • Antónia Correia
  • Metin Kozak


This study explores the main image attributes that potentially influence lake-destination areas, and simultaneously, contribute to conceptualizing lake tourism as recent research area. Lake tourism is a growing academic sub-field of tourism studies with an emerging body of literature. However, little attention has been given to lake-destinations’ projected tourism images. The study site is the newly-formed Alqueva Lake, the biggest man-made lake in Europe, located in Portugal. A mixed-method design was adopted, particularly a complementarity approach. The data were first collected in the qualitative stage, then analysed, and the information was used to develop a follow-up quantitative phase of data collection. The results suggest a feasible image for lake areas. A set of image variables that best describe the Alqueva Lake as lake-destination was obtained and validated by the industry and tourists. The findings also bring useful insights to the advantages of adopting a mixed-methods approach to destination image studies.