Sustainability in Mountain Tourism: A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Web Sites in the German Language

Sustainability in Mountain Tourism: A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Web Sites in the German Language

Valentina Crestani (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy & Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy & Università della Valle d'Aosta, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2930-9.ch002
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Abstract

Sustainability is a fundamental concept of Alpine tourism in countries like Germany and Austria, which have signed the Alpine Convention, a treaty between Alpine countries and the EU. The following paper presents the main results of a multimodal discourse analysis conducted on selected online presentations of eco-friendly hotels in Austria and in Germany. The selection of this textual genre is due primarily to the fact that online presentations are a sort of gateway to introduce the reader into the world of tourism—a world that, at the pre-trip stage, is only virtual, becoming real in the ongoing-trip stage. Hotel presentations try to convince readers to go beyond the pre-trip stage and to choose the accommodation structure for the holiday. Austrian and German presentations use common verbal strategies, but they differ in the relationship between visual and verbal components.
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Background

The Alpine Convention, an international treaty among the eight Alpine countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland) and the EU, highlights the importance of sustainability. “From the point of view of tourism, the Alps, by blending tourism and nature, represent the best source of inspiration for the development of sustainable tourism development taking nature protection into account” (Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, 2013, p. 41). Alpine tourism is a significant consumer of natural resources such as water— hotel guests use a third more water on a daily basis on average than the local population (Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, 2013, p. 61). Other considerable aims beyond the reduction of water use include the reduction of waste, greenhouse gases, and energy consumption.

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