E-Tourism Image: The Relevance of Networking for Web Sites Destination Marketing

E-Tourism Image: The Relevance of Networking for Web Sites Destination Marketing

Lluís Prats-Planagumà (Universitat de Girona, Spain) and Raquel Camprubí (Universitat de Girona, Spain)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-982-3.ch056

Abstract

The competitiveness of tourism destinations is a relevant issue for tourism studies, moreso, is a key element on the daily basis of tourism destinations. In this sense, the management of tourism destinations is essential to maintain competitive advantages. In this chapter tourism destination is considered as a relational network, where interaction and cooperation is needed among tourism agents, to achieve major levels of competitive advantage and a more effective destination management system. In addition, the perceptions of tourists are obtained from two main sources. The first one is the social construction of a tourism destination previous to the visit and the second one is obtained from the interaction between tourists and tourism destination agents during the visit. In this sense, the management of tourism destination to emit a homogenous and collective image is a factor that can reduce the gap if dissatisfaction from the previous and real tourist perception. The authors specifically discuss the importance of a common agreement of tourism agents on virtual tourism images projected through official Web sites, considering that the literature focused mainly in how to promote and sell destinations trough Internet but not in terms of exploiting a destination joint image. Finally, in order to analyze the integration of a tourism product and determine their consequences in tourism promotion an empirical research has been done, using the case of Girona’s province. The main findings determine that, although interactions among tourism agents can improve destination competitiveness, little cooperation in tourism promotion on Web sites is achieved, as well as a few uses of technological resources in the Web sites to facilitate to tourists a better understanding of tourism resources in the area.

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