Well-designed and executed experiments prove cause-and-effect relationships. The ability to draw causal conclusions is critical to knowledge development in any field of research. In this article, we discuss the benefits of experimental designs over alternative research approaches for the social sciences, discuss advantages and disadvantages of different types of experiments, review existing experimental studies specific to tourism and hospitality, and offer guidance to researchers who wish to conduct such studies. Properly executed experiments using actual behaviour of real stakeholders as a dependent variable lead to conclusions with high external validity. Our discussion of practical implementation issues culminates in a checklist for researchers. The article launches the Annals of Tourism Research Curated Collection on experimental research in tourism and hospitality.
- research design
- sample size