Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between tourists' user‐generated content on the web and destination branding, as well as to discuss the online strategies used by destination management organizations. Design/methodology/approach – The research adopts an exploratory study of social media sites and destination brands, relying on qualitative research methods, content analysis and field research. Findings – Tourists are largely contributing to destination image formation, while avoiding the use of the formal elements of the brands. The most popular strategies used by destination management organizations exhibit some crucial weaknesses. However, a strategy based on analytics brings new opportunities for destination branding. Originality/value – The study provides an innovative analysis of tourist‐created content and its impact on destination branding and presents a theoretical model of generic web‐based strategies.
International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 9, 2011
Keywords: Destination branding; User‐generated content; Information technology; Tourism