Analysis of booking.com comments with the support of the qualitative analysis software webQDA
The growing development of the tourism market in Portugal, especially in the city of Oporto, has allowed researchers to cross available data in online platforms, such as Booking, so that they can produce important and up-to-date reports available to operators, and thus enable them to continuously improve the quality of the services or experiences provided to the tourists.
Qualitative or quantitative approaches can be explored at different stages of a tourism research project. Some researchers argue that in a number of areas of research, in economics and tourism, for instance, the quantitative approach is more reliable than the qualitative approach, since they consider the former to reflect the real world better and because it is based on rigorous procedures and has the ability to extrapolate the results to a wider population. Altinay and Paraskevas (2008) refer that the qualitative approach is based on an inductive model and is based on phenomenology. According to te authors, qualitative research aims to develop an understanding of the context in which phenomena and behaviours occur (Altinay and Paraskevas, 2008) and for this reason we consider a qualitative approach complementary to the quantitative score given by the guests in the tourist accommodations. The combination of the two methods may contribute to greater research enrichment. However, in this study the purpose is to analyse the content of the comments that the guests posted on the platform "booking.com" after their stays, so the content analysis, as a technique of data analysis, was performed using webQDA software.
The main limitation to the study was the quantity of data available in the same period. For this reason, instead of focusing on the same period the option was to study the same (or very approximate) quantity of clients’ comments). In future studies, the author’s aim is to enlarge the sample to all 5* star hotels in the city.