Back to reality: A study of reality television tourism
Haney, Matthew Robert
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With movies and television providing entertainment in almost every American household, reality programming has become an integral part of the marketing industry today. This form of entertainment has influenced viewers and marketers alike as the number of programs have increased on nearly every network. This paper explores the gap in available academic research as to how this explosion in programming affects tourism to the locations presented in films and television shows. Data was collected by means of a self-administered survey completed through Qualtrics; snowball sampling was used. The survey was posted and completed through reality television message boards and blogs and via social media. Data analysis involved multiple statistical measurements but relied primarily on Structural Equation Modeling. Components adapted from Crompton’s push/pull model in additional to others introduced items provided the base work for the analysis. This study found that the primary viewer of reality television was female, thirty years-of-age or older, well educated, married, and at a higher income level. The findings of the study exhibited three factors that influenced consumer likelihood of visiting a reality television destination. These were: Personal Involvement, Destination Image, and Motivation. This study provides traditional print marketers, destination marketers, film and television producers as well as the destination location, much valuable and useful information. The data obtained provides an opportunity to capitalize upon different mediums through the use of advertisements and specified promotions that are directly related to locations and/or destinations portrayed within the program. It also provides a look at the consumers of the programming and what would attract the viewers to a location.