Analysing the functions of online destination forums through a corpus-assisted discourse-analytic approach

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous research on online travel communication has paid little attention to destination forums, where thousands of travellers worldwide post and view topics related to a place. The present study examines the functions of a destination forum on TripAdvisor. Through the first large-scale corpus-assisted discourse analysis of thousands of topic-initiating posts, this study identifies the functions of the forum, analyses how these functions are realised through prominent linguistic and discursive features, and investigates how these functions are performed by members at different levels of contribution and knowledge. The findings show that destination forums are functionally distinct from closely-related online travel texts and from forums in other professional contexts. This demonstrates the need to carry out detailed analyses of actual online travel communication across the spectrum to fully grasp the richness and subtlety of a set of interrelated forms of tourism discourse both as a whole, and as part of the whole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-265
Number of pages23
JournalPragmatics and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021


  • Corpus-assisted discourse analysis
  • Destination forums
  • Discourse analysis
  • Keyword analysis
  • Online travel communication
  • Tourism discourse
  • TripAdvisor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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