In recent years, tourist destinations and strategies of place branding have been facing new challenges owing to the diffusion of Information and Communications technologies. Smart devices can give tourists/prosumers the possibility to co-create and share their travel experience to the point to influence the destination web reputation and, consequently, its digital place image and branding. Furthermore, new technologies can be also used as effective analytical tools to scrutinize the role of online co-created narratives in influencing the web reputation of a specific tourist site, natural heritage included. The study focuses on the online destination image of Mount Etna, an active volcano located in Southern Italy inserted in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017. The web reputation of this natural heritage site has been analyzed through a twofold methodology: a manual online content analysis and a software-based Sentiment Analysis methodology. The paper highlights the crucial role of new technologies both as tools of analysis in tourism and heritage studies and as “catalysts” of e-narratives able to influence place images. In so doing, the research aims at providing other researchers and policy-makers with new theoretical and methodological insights about the challenges and potentialities of smart technologies in exploring the online place image, thus contributing to a novel conceptualization of place branding through the theoretical/operational framework of Place Branding 3.0. In particular, the mixed-method approach represents an innovative framework insofar as it provides an in-depth evaluation of users’ online perceptions both at the “micro” scale—at the level of contents, through the manual content analysis—as well as at the “macro” scale, thanks to the software-based Sentiment Analysis methodology.

Online Place Branding for Natural Heritage: Institutional Strategies and Users’ Perceptions of Mount Etna (Italy)

Valentina Erminia Albanese;
2020-01-01

Abstract

In recent years, tourist destinations and strategies of place branding have been facing new challenges owing to the diffusion of Information and Communications technologies. Smart devices can give tourists/prosumers the possibility to co-create and share their travel experience to the point to influence the destination web reputation and, consequently, its digital place image and branding. Furthermore, new technologies can be also used as effective analytical tools to scrutinize the role of online co-created narratives in influencing the web reputation of a specific tourist site, natural heritage included. The study focuses on the online destination image of Mount Etna, an active volcano located in Southern Italy inserted in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017. The web reputation of this natural heritage site has been analyzed through a twofold methodology: a manual online content analysis and a software-based Sentiment Analysis methodology. The paper highlights the crucial role of new technologies both as tools of analysis in tourism and heritage studies and as “catalysts” of e-narratives able to influence place images. In so doing, the research aims at providing other researchers and policy-makers with new theoretical and methodological insights about the challenges and potentialities of smart technologies in exploring the online place image, thus contributing to a novel conceptualization of place branding through the theoretical/operational framework of Place Branding 3.0. In particular, the mixed-method approach represents an innovative framework insofar as it provides an in-depth evaluation of users’ online perceptions both at the “micro” scale—at the level of contents, through the manual content analysis—as well as at the “macro” scale, thanks to the software-based Sentiment Analysis methodology.
2020
https://www.mdpi.com/2571-9408/3/4/85#
place branding; smart tourism; online content analysis; software-based sentiment analysis
Albanese, VALENTINA ERMINIA; Graziano, Teresa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2128539
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