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RUNNING HEAD: DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
Name of the Student
Name of the Uni ...
RUNNING HEAD: DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
Name of the Student
Name of the University
1 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
On both the demand and supply sides of the tourism industry, social networking allows
locations to connect directly with visitors through various online networks, as well as address
issues related to visitor comments and product reviews. The paper describes tourist
destinations, as well as social media and tourism interact ions. It summarises the key features
of social media and their implications for destination engagement strategies, as well as trends
in tourist behaviour that have an effect on destination marketing. The paper's key aim is to
explain how social media -align ed tactics will help destinations stay competitive. Selected
social media marketing best practises are discussed, as well as core aspects of a good social
media approach. Due to the interactive capacity and effect of social media on the
attractiveness of t ourism destinations, this study aimed to create a more informed and detailed
base on which to construct a social media positioning strategy.
2 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
Table of Contents
Abstract: ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 1
Introduction: ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 3
Literature Review: ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 4
Social Media in the Development of Destination Image: ................................ ...................... 4
User -Generated Content: ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 6
Role of Tourism Stakeholders: ................................ ................................ .............................. 6
Case study: ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 8
A Digital Strategy Framework in a Cultural Heritage Destination, Genoa Italy: .............. 8
Urban destination and cultural heritage: ................................ ................................ ............ 8
Cultural institutions and ICT: ................................ ................................ ............................ 9
Digital Management for Destination Promotion: ................................ .............................. 9
Discussion: ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 10
Social media strategies: ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10
The Barriers to Digital Engagement: ................................ ................................ ................... 13
Conclusion: ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 16
References: ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 19
3 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
A tourist destination is a natural entity with special conditions and properties that set it apart
from other destinations in terms of tourism. Before reaching a destination, visitors form an
impression of it as well as a collection of perceptions based on past experiences, word of
mouth, news accounts, advertisements, and traditional ideas . Via their rational and emotional
perception, they form a mental image of the location . Visitors' thoughts and perceptions
regarding a destination's potential to meet th eir desires and have individual advantages are
reflected in its attractiveness. Visitors today have a wide range of destinations to pick from,
but less time to make a purchase decision. To be successfully sold in the intended markets, a
location must be se parated from its competitors. The enhanced use of telecommunications
has significantly altered the interaction between attractions and their guests (Coca -Stefaniak
2019 ). The value of social media in tourism is evident, and using it to advertise destinatio ns
has proved to be an effective tactic. The key goal of this paper is to demonstrate how
implementing social media -aligned tactics will help destinations succeed in the tourism
industry. Because of the economic importance of tourism, as well as the spread of
globalisation, and the constant need for information in this field, tourist destination promotion
is important. However, the speed at which consumers can access information and the rapid
upgrading of technology is changing their behaviour and has a dir ect impact on tourist
destination business models. One of the businesses where the application of modern
communication technology has had the biggest impact is tourism. As a result, tourism
destinations around the world struggle for visitors. Getting an on line presence and actively
handling social media are two of the most important factors in drawing tourists and
increasing city exposure (Duffett 2017 ). Understanding how vacation destinations use social
media to advertise themselves, though, isn't enough. It's important to understand how
different players relate to the marketing of tourism destinations and their brand value. Eight
4 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
out of ten people think social media is a good path to communicate with brands, according to
the Annual Social Media Survey (Nic olescu 2016 ). Destinations have expanded their online
networking spending at the expense of conventional approaches as a result of the global
downturn and the proliferation of social media. This is why this research focuses exclusively
on the online aspect of tourism promotion. It is well known that there is a wide body of
literature on destination picture and social media in tourism. In recent years, since these
definitions have been implemented together, there has been an uptick in research. However,
ther e has been no study focusing on the stakeholder perspective of the tourist destination
brand image creation concept to date. Many studies have examined how attractions use
digital networks to promote themselves and boost their reputation, how tourists perc eive
destinations as a result of social media promotions, and how travellers become co -creators of
a destination's branding through social media platforms. (Park 2017 ).
Social Media in the Development of Destination Image :
From a purely geographical standpoint, the World Tourism Organization describes a tourist
destination as "a location where demand travels to purchase the tourist commodity." While
tourist destinations have been extensively studied in various surveys, it is now understood
that, They contend with other integrated tourism items that are assessed and measured by
prospective tourists focused on a standardized protocol approach as a multiactivity grouping;
This is a far different concept than the one that came before it. Others, such as Murphy et al.,
regard tourism destinations as items that provide visitors with an unforgettable experience.
When attempting to comprehend what a tourist destination is, Gunn and Var use the word
"experience." This is the product of visi tors using a variety of tourism facilities during their
stay (Tuten 2020 ). As a result, a tourist destination should not be defined solely by its
location or by a collection of facilities or goods. The six are only in tourist destinations.
5 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
Attractions, con venience, facilities, accessible packages, events, and ancillary facilities are
only a few examples. According to a tourism strategic perspective, a destination is described
as an open system with several interrelated actions, each of whom has various rela tionships
and whose choices and behaviours have varying degrees of impact on others. Because of its
effect on human behaviour, destination picture has taken on a special significance in various
academic fields such as neuroscience, economics, environment, and advertising are only a
few examples . The totality of a tourist's beliefs, thoughts, and experiences about a destination
is referred to as the destination picture. Pike noted that a picture is one strategy for competing
with other vacation spots because of the subjective quality of destination experience. It's
worth noting at this point that destination picture is a multifaceted and dynamic phenomenon
that includes both tourist supply and demand powers. Iconic elements and qualities can be
called instrum ents for a tourism destination's economic and long -term growth. The presence
of famous landmarks is shaped by these elements of authenticity and mental perspective ,
which function as internationally recognised icons or reflect their places, history, and na tural
heritage while also fostering a positive reputation among tourists and locals. Destinations that
use classic features in their marketing, such as architecture and amenities, history, traditions,
and cuisine , provide a lasting impression on future tou rists (Tully 2019 ). Tourist symbols are
often used in destination placement and are the culmination of a long -term communication
and promotion mechanism involving many participants. The attributes and emotional
assessments associated with a place's status as a tourist destination have been broadly
established. The destination picture, according to Gallarza et al, is complex, multiple,
relativistic, and dynamic. They discovered that the more appealing a destination's logo is, the
more likely it is to be sele cted. According to these writers, an opt -in contact approach would
help a destination project a positive online presence and distinguish itself from its
competitors (Raposo 2016 ). The Internet has evolved into a critical tool for customers in the
6 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
judgement process, allowing them to search for product and service information, analyse and
review substitutes, and ultimately make on -the -spot bookings . Similarly, “Web 2.0” includes
a diverse collection of electronic technologies (social media networks, internet
recommendation sites, blogs, and video and photo sharing platforms) that enable users to
communicate with one another as well as with businesses (Briandana 2017 ).
User -Generated Content :
The value of user -generated content is quickly growing, and it is bec oming profoundly
important for a destination's success. De Bruyn and Lilien, reiterated the notion which is the
form of content in high demand and raises aspirations for a tourism destination, explained
this in part. User -Generated Content (UGC), Visitors, especially, millennial people will
engage in the influencing of any travel destination's reputation by sharing content,
particularly about tourist experiences, on digital networking. UGC on social media can be
very helpful in determining the wishes and desires of visitors, as well as making detailed
recommendations about the goods and services they need. Person motives should be analysed
to better understand their choices, needs, and d esires, and this has been achieved thoroughly
in the tourism industry. Blogs, social media, and videos are only a few of the tools that people
will use to become influencers. Travel 2.0 has been revolutionised, according to Standing et
al., and there is a significant amount of user -generated content (UGC) in the context of
traveling articles and online travel reviews (OTR) that allows certain users to get in on the
activities that visitors share directly on social media sites when visiting a destination.
(Heinonen 2021 ).
Role of Tourism Stakeholders :
Interested parties are characterised in a number of ways, from those who just think of them as
actors in companies to those who consider any actor. Freeman was one of the first to
articulate a strong stakeholder vision, defining a stakeholder as "any community or person
7 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
who can influence, or is influenced by, the accomplishment of a corporation's intent." All
players should be considered in destination management, according to Sautter and Leisen,
and t his will result in substantial tourism returns in the long run. The recognition of
preferences and desires of investors, tourists, and residents , participant control of investor,
tourist, and resident attractions is the first step. (Park 2020 ). As Saxton a nd Waters pointed
out in their recent paper, the growing use of digital networking allows for the observation of
participants' online interaction in relation to corporate contact. When evaluating and auditing
the brand picture as viewed by various stakehol ders, as well as the consistency of
communications and the real elects of the corporate identity, Capriotti noted that the use of
metrics is important. Gartner made a major impact by introducing destination picture as a
cyclical mechanism affecting several stakeholders. Chon proposed that it is primarily
dependent on tourists' conceptual understanding others, on the other hand, believe that both
factors combine to produce a blended perceived quality . Tourists have grown into producers
of original content fo r tourist attractions, and as a result, they have become very important
and active players in the tourism industry. Vacationers, residents, the tourism sector, and the
government all have distinct needs, so tainting the image from each of the different pla yers is
important for venue promotional success. (Prideaux 2016 )
Figure 1: Role of Tourism Stakeholder
8 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
(Source: Cipollina, M., 201 6)
A Cultural Identity Location's Digital Strategy Structure, Genoa, Italy :
Genoa, Italy, is a great example of a location that promotes itself through the use of e -
services. There is detail about the mayor and city resources on the Genoa municipality
website, as well as online services, an online archive, and a tour ist information webpage that
opens in a new window. It's a full -featured DMO website with e -services for passengers and
the surrounding community, as well as social media sites and information on travel networks.
Genoa is also a well -known and culturally i mportant destination, and there should be an
emphasis on cultural destinations as well as e -DMO opportunities (Lalicic 2016 ).
Figure 2: Digital Strategy Structure
(Source: Digital Strategy Structure )
Urban destination and cultural heritage:
Because of th eir sophistication, urban destinations are becoming difficult to handle. Urban
destinations are known to be a mix of goods, facilities, and amenities that make up the whole
tourism product for visitor experiences. Native culture is a popular tourist attrac tion,
particularly in European countries, and it can bring a great deal of value to a destination in
9 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
importance of historical experiences, place identification, and long -term sustainability.
(Gretzel 2016 ).
Cultural institutions and ICT :
Poor and non -touri sm communication structures are inadequate of promoting traditional
tourism, which requires engaging visitors and the municipal government participation in an
interactive and changing framework of processes and organizational across the multiple
stakeholde rs. As a result, it is difficult for groups to participate in discussions about cultural
heritage and to contribute to the cities' long -term growth. ICT provide the potential for
change, but change necessitates new knowledge, expertise, and the ability to use them by
destination stakeholders (Algharabat 2017 ).
Digital Management for Destination Promotion:
Palmer says that destinations are expected to be the most difficult things to market in the
tourism industry. E -tourism destinations, such as Miguens and Corfu, are distinguished by a
high level of complexity, and they are made up of a network of companies, amenities, and
government agencies, each with its own publicity department available via the internet
However, both ICT implementation and e -services in the destination are necessary for the
transition to take place. Destinations are increasingly putting information and communication
technology (ICT) at the forefront of their marketing and management strategies (Jiménez -
Zarco 2018 ).
Destination marketing must progress beyond basic knowledge transmission to enable users to
communicate with webpage material and other users. It would offer information to the
destination's company about customer expectations, as well as customs contact modes and
facilities tha t may be marketed to particular target markets (Kruja 2018 ). As a result, the
10 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
methodological method for determining the importance of ICT usage by cultural heritage
destinations identifies two key variables:
a. Users are the number and categories of individua ls who are interested with or
impacted by the production of goods and services.
b. People can engage in content creation and decision -making through e -services, which
are holistic and collaborative.
These facilities must cover all phases of the tour, includin g pre -visit, during -visit, and post -
visit, and must be available from everywhere , t he aim of all the society and the DMO
executive department with government corporate funding and national heritage managers, is
to use mobile functions of input points.
Social media strategies :
Networking sites is a type of computer -based technology that enables users to set up digital
networks and communities and exchange their thoughts, emotions, and information. By its
very essence, social networking is int ernet -based, enabling people to quickly and
electronically communicate through virtual networks and communities (Hinton 2019) . Social
networking is internet -based by nature, allowing users to share content quickly using
electronic means. The term "social n etworking" refers to the means by which people engage
in interactive communities and networks by creating, sharing, and exchanging knowledge and
ideas. The key Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Vimeo pages are
operated by the office of c ommunications and marketing . In certain ad strategies, though, the
majority of the original purchaser are at favourable evaluations. They may or may not be
engaged in what you have to say right now, and others may never be. Much of your social
11 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
media fans a re not like this, which is one of the reasons why social media is so important for
industry (Raposo 2016 ).
Figure 3: Social Media Marketing Strategies
(Source: Rowley, J., 2017 )
Therefore, d estinations can use social media to communicate with guests at a reduced cost
and with better reliability than they can with more conventional contact methods. If a
destination wishes to compete in the increasingly competitive global tourism industry, it must
stand out from the crowd. For a well -developed ma rketing plan that relies on social media,
the destination can be readily recognisable. Since social media is overcrowded and saturated
with content, attracting interest is challenging – but some schemes seem to work better than
others: novelty, opportunity to win, celebrity participation, individuality, unexpectedness,
competitiveness, and consistency Blogs, content forums, social networking platforms, video
gaming environments, and virtual social worlds are all forms of social media in which people
can int eract, create, and exchange content. Reddits, ratings, feedback, social networking
platforms, microblogging sites, pod -casts and video -casts, and photo -sharing sites are all
12 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
examples of social media (Shulman 2017 ). In recent years, social media integration has
become more popular in smartphone apps. It is no longer a web -only function; smartphones
are fast becoming the most popular social media devices. Increased brand recognition, brand
engagement, word of mouth, contacts, loyalty, and social affirmation a re all examples of the
benefits of social media and its usefulness for destinations. A destination's performance in
respect of visitor experience is decided by a variety of interacting factors, stressing the value
of tactical and organised planning, and pe rhaps even the recruiting of the right staff. The
success of a destination in terms of visitor satisfaction is determined by a number of
interconnected factors; this emphasises the importance of systematic and coordinated
planning, as well as the selective use of particular tools and techniques (Shankar 2019 ). The
creation of a destination's strategic tourism plan is an articulation of the strategic goals and
strategy that have been developed by stakeholders for the destination's preparation, growth,
manage ment, and promotion, and it is critical for the destination's long -term viability and
sustainability. The strategy's key aim is to improve the attractiveness of destinations.
Destinations are being pushed to innovate their communications methods as a resul t of
increased usage and improvements in technology, as well as limited campaign budgets. More
and more destinations are moving their conventional communications approach away from
radio, tv, news media, and other types of traditional media and into the in ternet and social
media. The marketing technique is meant to assist the destination in successfully
communicating. It will assist a destination in increasing destination recognition, achieving
global publicity, strengthening the destination's status as a f avourite destination, targeting a
particular market, and so on , e nsure that people know what the destination is, that they
appreciate what it does, that they change their attitudes and expectations as appropriate, that
they support the brand, that they max imise the number of visits through social media
networks, blogs, and interactive contact, and that they support the brand. Engage successfully
13 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
with partners and show the success of the destination . However, g lobalisation and evolving
tourist expectations h ave expanded the amount of data that destinations could evaluate in
order to remain competitive in an ever -changing tourism industry. As a tourism marketing
tool, social media will significantly improve a destination's credibility and is increasingly
persu ading destination advertisers that it can be an important part of their marketing
campaigns (Camilleri 2018 ).
Visitors may get first -hand information from other visitors and make choices about the
destination or encounter by using social media. Information can be gathered by tweeting,
posting experiences, and writing stories that can be shared on visitors' personal websites, the
destination's website, or a networked platform. The information in blogs, stories, and other
forms is mostly provided by traveller s who have visited the destination, so the information is
focused on personal perception and perceived authentic experience.
The Barriers to Digital Engagement :
Virtually all companies, with the exception of major market brands, have barriers to digital
interaction. However, they also have a long way to go because their emphasis has been
mainly on external uses of social and emerging technology, such as marketing, rather than
internal applications and consequences .
14 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
Figure 4: Barriers to Digital Transformation
(source: Belanche 2016)
Not Taking Digital Seriously:
The generally held idea that emerging devices are "only instruments" only diminishes their
significance, ignoring the fact that understanding new communication and teamwork
tech niques is much more complicated and complicated than conventional methods. While the
pen is more effective than the sword, it is a much less advanced instrument than an electronic
Lack of knowledge and understanding of Digital Era realities:
Many senior practitioners are also technical novices, including their smart phones, laptops,
and favourite android games. They are reluctant to put modern technologies into contextual
context both in terms of the Internet Age and social experience and digital progress in
general. They are often ignorant of or have little awareness of technological developments
that have the potential to have a substantial effect on their markets and organisations, either
by expanding or undermining their existing business model s (Kumar 2020 ).
Risk tolerance is caused by framing options in a risk -averse manner.:
Decision makers are risk averse when alternatives are presented in terms of benefits.
However, when framed in terms of losses, they appear to be risk takers. Consider the
a. Gain Framed Scenario :
15 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
A company with a million dollars in turnover is keeping up with emerging business
and consumer trends. It has reached its full potential. Digital engagement and automation
have the ability to boost sales to 1.20 mil lion, but they also have the potential to draw focus
away from the core market and competencies, lowering revenues to 900,000.
b. Loss Framed Scenario:
Leading to business and marketplace shifts, a company's turnover used to be $1
million, but now it's just $800,000. It has reached its full potential. Digital engagement and
automation have the ability to return sales to one million, but they also have the potential to
draw focus away from the core market and competencies, allowing revenues to d ecline to
Unfortunately, several business executives appear to be suffering from the "frog in boiling
water" mentality, waiting until technological developments become disruptive and dangerous
before acting, rather than realising that they can escape the risks entirely by seeking new
opportunities (Jovicic 2019 ).
Poor/non -existent digital interaction and transition roadmaps :
This barrier seems to manifest in a variety of ways. To begin, I'd point out that leaders have a
strong inclination to concentrate on the short term and tactical approaches rather than take a
longer -term, strategic approach. It's entirely acceptable to use developmental, gradual, and
iterative methods. Recognize that digital participation and change will become a strategic
priority in the future, and begin designing strategies now to get from today's realities to
tomorrow's requirements. Few companies have created a digital transition strategy due to a
lack of a longer -term outlook. Furthermore, because of their short -term perspective,
executives see digitally -driven shifts as existing costs rather than improvements in the future
of the company. As a result of this perspective, they create unreasonable standards for
16 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
immediate ROI as a rationale for proceeding. In other words , rather than understanding that
they are about to start on a trip and planning for it, they are mainly concerned with the next
traffic turn (Gretzel 2020 ).
No, there is an insufficient or improper distribution of resources:
This barrier is the product of the four that come before it. Despite the fact that many
organisations have stepped away from the "giving it to the intern" approach to digital
engagement used a few years back, they are still far from implementing an effective resource
distribution plan. And if the individuals in those positions don't have the skills or ability to
perform them well, there seems to be a general trend to apply certain duties to established
roles that seem to be linked, such as promotion, distribution, and IT. Therefore, exec utives
delegate individuals’ digital roles solely because they are underutilised in other fields in other
organisations (Marine -Roig 2016 ).
Globalization and supply concentration lift the level of competitiveness, which already
necessitates new internet connectivity techniques. Entry barriers to destinations via the
internet are comparatively low in terms of financial capital and know -how demands. The
availability and comparatively low cost of internet has resulted in a modern market climate
and new ways of doing business. The internet has developed from a static medium for
multimedia publishing to a truly immersive forum for collaboration in its short existence.
Many destinations depend on tourism for sales, but budget cuts and shifts in media a nd
technology have necessitated changes in destination communications strategies and how they
advertise themselves in the global market. For survival, digital technology and innovations
must be applied. New media presents a less costly way for destinations to advertise
themselves, as well as many ways for tourists to participate in bringing prospective visitors to
17 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
their destinations. As a travel marketing mechanism, social media is constantly persuading
destination advertisers that it should be an important part of their promotions. Visitors are
beginning to distrust ads that emphasises the destinations' benefits and exclusive features.
Visitors expect a personal touch, as well as insightful, imaginative, engaging interactions and
communications that incorpo rate empathy and emotions. They want to be a part of the
development of tourism goods and want to buy based on trust. If destinations offer engaging
content, use imagination, and promote and inspire immersive connectivity, social media will
help them stay competitive. Firms and organisations in various sectors can use emerging
technology and social media in their marketing strategies while modelling strategic
management for the creation of competitive advantage. The development of networks and
synergies can also boost the connectivity of businesses, corporations, and organisations. It
may be daunting to implement modern technical programmes or applications in
organisations. However, the focus of social media activities is on illustrating, persuading, and
ent icing visitors to a destination's symbols and attributes. The destination icon is built on this
in several ways, and social media content replicates and reinforces these characteristics.
Tourist attractions and museums, on the other hand, compete for atten tion with local festivals
and customs. It's worth noting that the three accounts analysed had very common digital
marketing activity patterns. The pages are based on areas of concern in image promotions,
unique tourist events or behaviours, tourist lifesty le attributes or motivations, such as biking
or cuisine, and the use of words to link positive feelings associated with tourism. Huge
quantities of videos, posters, and photos with a lot of reactions, feedback, and shares were
included in the material post ed by each official account. Despite this, videos were the sort of
material that drew the most attention in terms of interactions, but to a lesser degree due to the
fact that there were even less of them. Due to their interactive potential and impact on to urist
decision -making, it is critical for tourist destinations to continue focusing on effective social
18 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
media management practises (Kolb 2017 ). Instead of dwelling on the cities individually,
more emphasis should be placed on promoting the whole destinatio n as a whole, with the
picture still playing a key role in differentiating them.
19 DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM
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