Tourism imagery has long been disseminated by tourism agencies with the aim of influencing tourist behaviour. Tourists themselves have always had the potential to influence this process but until recently, the tourist information-sharing process was largely confined to the private realm. However, with the rise of digitisation, the narratives that arise from tourists interpreting their holiday experiences have been increasingly publicly shared through ‘a digitally networked public sphere where [experiences are] photographed, tweeted, tumblred and instagrammed to global followers’ (Freeman and Sheller 2015:1). As such, the social worlds within which tourists share their narratives become much broader, facilitated by platforms like Tripadvisor. These platforms create virtual communities enabling electronic word of mouth (e-wom) to become extremely powerful in shaping tourism imaginaries. This paper reports the findings of a study that analyses 30 photographs posted on Instagram by Ireland’s destination marketing organisation over the period May – August 2021. The photographs studied had been produced in the first instance by a variety of photographers, both amateur and professional, and posted by @TourismIreland with due credits. The findings point to the co-creative possibilities that technology affords for shaping tourist imaginaries. According to Xie, Guan, Liu and Huan (2021: 448) ‘the research on co-creation experience in virtual tourist communities is very limited’. In particular, this study yields insights into how such co-creation processes might start. In focusing on the initial one-on-one interaction between the tourism agency and individual photographers, the paper goes beyond prevalent debates about the role of communal platforms like Trip Advisor, while simultaneously probing deeper into key moments in the formation of such communal interactivity. Additionally, fully aware of the argument that the rise of social media gives more power to tourists (Akehurst, 2009), the findings point to how Tourism Ireland has adapted well in exploiting user-generated images that have already been popularly received in the marketplace so as to shape tourism imaginaries about Ireland. Thus, the paper raises questions about which stakeholders actually hold most power to influence online conversations about tourism space (Mehraliev, Choi and King 2021).

The role of political communication in constructing cyber places: some insights from Lecce (Italy) and Galway (Ireland)

Valentina Erminia Albanese
;
2022

Abstract

Tourism imagery has long been disseminated by tourism agencies with the aim of influencing tourist behaviour. Tourists themselves have always had the potential to influence this process but until recently, the tourist information-sharing process was largely confined to the private realm. However, with the rise of digitisation, the narratives that arise from tourists interpreting their holiday experiences have been increasingly publicly shared through ‘a digitally networked public sphere where [experiences are] photographed, tweeted, tumblred and instagrammed to global followers’ (Freeman and Sheller 2015:1). As such, the social worlds within which tourists share their narratives become much broader, facilitated by platforms like Tripadvisor. These platforms create virtual communities enabling electronic word of mouth (e-wom) to become extremely powerful in shaping tourism imaginaries. This paper reports the findings of a study that analyses 30 photographs posted on Instagram by Ireland’s destination marketing organisation over the period May – August 2021. The photographs studied had been produced in the first instance by a variety of photographers, both amateur and professional, and posted by @TourismIreland with due credits. The findings point to the co-creative possibilities that technology affords for shaping tourist imaginaries. According to Xie, Guan, Liu and Huan (2021: 448) ‘the research on co-creation experience in virtual tourist communities is very limited’. In particular, this study yields insights into how such co-creation processes might start. In focusing on the initial one-on-one interaction between the tourism agency and individual photographers, the paper goes beyond prevalent debates about the role of communal platforms like Trip Advisor, while simultaneously probing deeper into key moments in the formation of such communal interactivity. Additionally, fully aware of the argument that the rise of social media gives more power to tourists (Akehurst, 2009), the findings point to how Tourism Ireland has adapted well in exploiting user-generated images that have already been popularly received in the marketplace so as to shape tourism imaginaries about Ireland. Thus, the paper raises questions about which stakeholders actually hold most power to influence online conversations about tourism space (Mehraliev, Choi and King 2021).
978-88-8305-178-4
Albanese, VALENTINA ERMINIA; Quinn, Bernadette
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2128445
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