Title: 'A few days here is plenty': the value and implications of popular sources for tourism development in Kathmandu, Nepal

Authors: Barbara Grossman-Thompson; Benjamin Linder

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder, UCB 327 Ketchum 219, Boulder, CO 80309, USA ' Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Behavioral Sciences Building Room 2102, 1007 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA

Abstract: Using a case study from Nepal, this paper argues that popular media such as blogs, travelogues, and guidebooks offer an underutilised source of consumer feedback that can assist state-level tourism planners in fine-tuning their marketing strategies of un/underplanned tourism destinations. The district of Thamel has emerged as the epicentre of Nepal's international tourism flows. Thamel's reputation as a site for cheap and easy conspicuous consumption remains a notable problem in the Nepali state's attempt to steer tourism development towards more geographically dispersed and more up-market models. This paper argues that when attempting to understand spaces such as Thamel, unofficial tourism media such as travelogues, memoirs, and travel guides can serve as invaluable and readily available marketing resources, particularly as a means of understanding the meaning and function of such touristic spaces for tourists. In turn, findings from analyses of popular media sources can be fed directly into relevant tourism development policy and marketing research.

Keywords: leisure industry; Nepal; popular sources; guidebooks; tourism management; tourism development; Lonely Planet; tourism media; South Asia; popular media; blogs; travelogues; consumer feedback; marketing strategies; tourist destinations; tourism planning; memoirs; travel guides.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLTM.2014.065878

International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing, 2014 Vol.4 No.2, pp.117 - 134

Received: 18 Nov 2013
Accepted: 16 Mar 2014

Published online: 28 Nov 2014 *

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