Assessing the visibility of destination marketing organizations in google: A case study of convention and visitor bureau websites in the United States

Zheng Xiang, Bing Pan, Chun Hung Roberts Law, Daniel R. Fesenmaier

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Search engines are playing an increasingly dominant role in providing access to tourism information on the Internet. As such, it is argued that destination marketing organizations (DMOs) must have a substantial understanding of the visibility in search engines in order to create competitive positions within this important marketplace. The goal of this study was to develop a process to assess the visibility of DMO websites in one of the major search engines (i.e., Google). A set of 18 cities in the United States were selected to be used as case studies of the visibility of their convention and visitor bureau (CVB) websites in relation to travel queries identified using Google Adwords Keyword Tool. The results indicate that there are substantial differences in the relative positions of CVB websites on Google. In particular, there seems to be huge gaps among the search domains within CVB websites in terms of their visibility to online travelers and volume of search within those domains. This study offers a number of implications for research and practice of search engine marketing for tourism destinations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-707
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • Competitive analysis
  • Destination marketing
  • Internet
  • Search engine marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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