Online destination branding in a fragmented context. The case of Orvieto (Italy)

Fabio Forlani e Simone Splendiani

Paper presentato a: Third International Conference on Tourism & Leisure Studies, annual conference of the Tourism & Leisure Studies Research Nework, Lanzarote (Spagna), 17-18 May 2018

Lanzarote

ABSTRACT

The importance of the destination brand management and of its positioning strategies has become even more relevant in relation to the growth of the experiential dimension of tourist consumption. However, it turns out to be very difficult to apply effective strategies of destination branding, especially in contexts where the tourist offer is characterized by fragmentation and lack of strategic co-operation.

The aim of this research is to analyse the case of Orvieto, an Umbrian city full of history and art: it is particularly significant as the local DMO is currently working to build a brand of destination able to integrate the city with its district. This means finding a correct place brand architecture strategy, able to relate brands of individual tourist companies and brands of tourist experiences as well as those of cities, districts and regions bordering on Orvieto.

The analysis focuses on web communication strategies of the municipality of Orvieto and those of tourist operators of the surrounding area, in order to examine the complex of brands and the relationships developed among them. The analysis of brand policies is developed through a desk investigation of web pages and social networks accounts.  Web content analysis is significant for two reasons: – the brand reputation of a tourist destination is frequently built on-line;  – the reflected image on the web and the links created in it are an off-line behaviour proxy.

The exploration-type analysis is intended to understand whether the brand architecture approach can be used, even in cases of fragmented tourist destinations.

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