Using NVivo to Compare Travel Articles with Place Branding Practice

This page helps you start coding and entering your data into the software package called QSR NVivo. The example project used throughout is from Mansfield's research on the city of Nantes. It examines travel articles taken from the media to find links to the Place Branding of this French city, the sixth largest urban space in France by population. Nantes is on the River Loire, 50 kilometres inland from the Atlantic. The research project is written-up and is published as a journal article which you can download and use as a guide and model to writing-up you own research project. Peer-reviewed academic journal article to download free from ResearchGate here: Mansfield, C. (2017) 'Travel Writing in Place Branding - A Case Study on Nantes' Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing 3(2) 1-7.

From QSR International's YouTube Channel, two videos to help you start using NVivo. First, how to bring in all your documents. For the Nantes Travel Writing & Place Branding Project the documents for analysis are travel articles from the UK press, all found online:

Writing Nantes Logo

And then coding an individual document:



First example of 'coding to a node'. The code 01-heritage has been added, then the travel article 05-Holt is opened. A section of text mentioning the maritime heritage of Nantes is found and highlighted. Then the highlighted text is dragged up to the node 01-heritage. Notice how the coloured coding-stripe appears in the right-most column of the NVivo screen.

Please note, this Toureme Teaching Page has subpages, below, to help you progress with NVivo, please scroll right down to the foot of the page...

Methodology and Coding the Travel Articles

Gale et al. (2013) provide a guide to using Framework Method for thematic content analysis of qualitative data. Their process takes these steps:

(i) coding moments in the text in a marginal column; Gale et al. work line by line but this research collects into stanzas (1 or 2 paragraphs, or using side-headings from the original article)

(ii) categorising the codes into groups with similar issues

(iii) developing an analytical framework of more descriptive codes

(iv) charting the data into a framework matrix

(v) memo-writing to interpret the data and synthesis new theory

Many of these steps employ inductive reasoning, where the data suggest strong evidence. Step (v) uses abductive reasoning to move from observation to new theory from the findings. Gale et al. (2013) are open-coding since they have no specific pre-formed hypothesis about what they will find. However, this research uses open coding but also uses the list from Place Branding practice to ask the question: Do these easily-found travel articles align with Place Branding practice?

Zakarevičius & Lionikaitė (2013) go further in their examination of Place Branding to provide a list of elements, in order of importance, that need are examined by Place Branders in questionnaires or through consultation with citizens. Indeed, this work by Zakarevičius & Lionikaitė (2013) is particularly relevant to this research since they consider the work of both academics and practitioners in the field of place branding, ranking their findings based on analysis of both stakeholder groups. From their table a list of a priori themes can be proposed for application in coding travel articles on Nantes:

15 nodes

Zakarevičius & Lionikaitė (2013, 152-153)

Notice how I prefix with zero to ensure the codes stay in alpha-numeric order.

To cite this website: Mansfield, C. (2019) 'Using NVivo to Compare Travel Articles with Place Branding Practice', Plymouth, Toureme. [Online) Available at: https://sites.google.com/site/touremetkt/home/nvivo [Accessed 2.5.19].


Gale, N., Heath, G., Cameron, E., Rashid, S. & Redwood, S. (2013) 'Using the framework method for the analysis of qualitative data in multi-disciplinary health research' BMC Med Research Methodol. 13(117).

Mansfield, C. (2017) 'Travel Writing in Place Branding - A Case Study on Nantes' Journal of Tourism, Heritage & Services Marketing 3(2) 1-7. Please click to view

Mansfield, C. (2016) 'The Loire Project: Research Design for Place-Writing' in Zoe Roberts (ed) (2016) River Tourism: The Pedagogy and Practice of Place Writing, Plymouth, TKT. pp.36-52. https://goo.gl/Q4wkBp

Zakarevičius, P, & Lionikaitė, J. (2013) ‘An Initial Framework for Understanding the Concept of Internal Place Branding’ Management of Organizations: Systematic Research 67, 143-160.

Zenker, S. & Erfgen, C. (2014) 'Let them do the work: A participatory place branding approach' Journal of Place Management and Development 7(3) 225 - 234.

Remember, this Toureme Teaching Page has subpages, below, to help you progress with NVivo...1-analyse 2-word-cloud