A visual analysis of trends in the titles and keywords of top-ranked tourism journals

Carter A. Hunt, Pennsylvania State University
Jie Gao, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Lan Xue, Fudan University


We generated a visual trend analysis of the titles and keywords of highly ranked tourism journals in the years 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2012 by using word clouds. This approach provides a fascinating snapshot into shifts in the priorities of tourism researchers over the last four decades, thus tracing the history of theoretical development in the field of tourism. Comparisons were made between (1) the titles of articles in all journals in different years; (2) titles in each journal in a recent year; and (3) titles and keywords of articles in the same journal in the same years. Not only do themes and concepts visibly shift in prominence over time and between journals, but also variance between keywords and titles of articles in the same journal for a particular year is observable. The practical applications for article titling, placement, and keyword designation are discussed.