Different studies have looked at visitor related motivations and experiences under different contexts in the tourism industry. The museum-related experiences remain one of the important elements which are sought by visitors to the museums. Therefore, this study purposes to investigate and determine personal context, social context and physical contexts of George Eastman museum visitors. More importantly, the study utilised a content analysis approach in its research. The specific data about visitors to George Eastman House was obtained from the social media website TripAdvisor. The findings of the study were based on three important elements: personal context, social context and physical contexts. In the personal context based on John Falk classifications (experience seeker, explorer, facilitator, prof-hobbyist, and recharger); the experience seeker had the highest number of visitor comments about 76 reviewers, with explorer category being less represented while recharger category had the least number of visitor’s comments. On the aspect of social context, about 12% reviewers indicated the social context where the socio-cultural influence was considered one of the determinants of their museum-visit experience. Furthermore, the physical context was expressed through identified dominant themes that included mansion, the museum exhibits, and George Eastman’s personality. In both the analysis of negative and the positive dimensions of the themes, the mansion theme showed a higher positive response in the while the museum and the exhibits showed relatively a negative dimension in the analysis. Through a word cloud visualization approach memories and learning outcomes were analysed with findings indicating “Memory/impression of visit”; “Takes you back” (their experience of being drawn back into the past or into a personal memory of previous times, etc.); and most importantly, “Learn from the visit”, were the most predominant themes in memorial and learning outcomes. This study provided important insight into visitor experiences, which can be utilised by George Eastman management to understand perceptions of visitors and thus enhance their services. Furthermore, it is recommended that future studies adopt bigger samples as well as diverse contexts besides the museum in order to be able to get an in-depth insight into museum visitor’s experiences.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

George Eastman Museum--Public opinion; Online social networks; Museum techniques

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Hospitality-Tourism Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Hospitality and Tourism Management (CAST)


Muhammet Kesgin

Advisor/Committee Member

Rick Lagiewski

Advisor/Committee Member

Carol Whitlock


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TR645.R6 A54 2016


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