The primary objective of this course is to provide students with adequate knowledge on the logical path of scientific research and the choice of appropriate methods – tools for the analysis of the potential development of alternative forms of tourism. This specialized knowledge gives to students the opportunity both to design and implement a research and to acquire critical thinking necessary to solve complex issue and problems.
Conducting scientific research as well as analysis of economic phenomena is based on a logical path and the selection of appropriate methods and tools. The proper design of a research as well as the identification of the central question and the relative assumptions is a necessary precondition for the scientific analysis of any social, cultural and economic phenomenon.
The implementation of the research methods and the economic analysis is based on (i) specific principles and concepts, (ii) selection of appropriate research tools concerning the preparation and implementation of the research (collection and organization of information in databases, sample, sampling procedures, questionnaires, and interviews) and finally (iii) tools and methods for evaluation and analysis of the collected data / information.
The course gives emphasis on empirical scientific research which, under an appropriate methodological design, ensures objective measurements and estimations of the examined phenomena and allows the systematic verification of the research’s hypotheses.
More specifically, the implementation of a research focused on specific issues (such as the analysis of tourism development opportunities, the highlighting of cultural resources as condition of tourism development, the “new” tastes of tourists, etc.) requires an understanding and familiarity with appropriate and adapted research methods.
Consequently, the course includes the following:
1. Concepts, principles, importance and purposes of scientific research
2. Identification and formulation of the central problem (research question) and of the assumptions
3. Investigation of the field, literature research
4. Structuring the analysis concerning tourism development, investigation of cultural resources: central assumptions, main themes for investigation, identification of quantitative and / or qualitative variables in the model, selection of appropriate research method
4. Specificities of primary and secondary research, search and selection of data sources
5. Implementation of tools for primary research: sample, sample size, sampling methods, alternative forms of questionnaires, coding questions. Construction of questionnaires relative to (a) the analysis of tourism supply and demand according to the study areas’ specificities and (b) for the investigation and promotion of touristic and cultural resources.
6. Data entry technics and reliability tests
7. Statistical analysis of data: (a) simple exploratory statistical analysis, (b) advanced exploratory analysis: Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA), (c) Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), (d) regression and projections
8. Implementation of statistical methods with data on issues such as touristic flows, preferences and behaviors of visiting tourists, etc.
9.Verification of the main assumptions of the model, discussion on the findings as regards existing theories and approaches, drawing conclusions