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.

Annunci

The importance of brand architecture for the place brand management: the case of Orvieto (Italy)

di Fabio Forlani e Simone Splendiani

Paper presentato a: Inaugural Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association (IPBA). London (Middlesex University), 7-9 December 2016

ABSTRACT

The place brand is a key asset for the competition among tourist destinations (Ritchie and Ritchie, 1998; Buhalis, 2000; Gnoth, 2002; Morgan et al., 2002; Kerr, 2006; Hankinson, 2007; Baker and Cameron, 2008; Kavaratzis, 2004, 2012; Hanna and Rowley, 2011, 2015). This is proper especially nowadays, due to recent changes in demand, characterized by the research of symbolic and experiential content (Andersson, 2007; Morgan et al., 2009; Rageh et al., 2013; Neuhofer et al., 2012, 2014). However, it turns out to be very difficult to apply effective strategies of destination branding, especially in contexts where the tourism offer is characterized by fragmentation and lack of strategic co-operation (Bonetti et al., 2006; Sciarelli, 2007; Pencarelli and Gregori, 2009; Aureli and Forlani, 2015). The aim of the research is to analyse the case of Orvieto, a city of great historical, artistic and cultural importance, located in the Umbria region. Orvieto is a prime example of a place with a remarkable tourist potentiality which is not sufficiently overworked and with inferior results (arrivals, presences and international visibility) than destinations of the same level (e.g. other cities of Tuscany). The goal of this work is to understand whether the problem is to be traced in the excessive fragmentation of the communication of the offer, and, in particular, in an inappropriate management of the architecture of the place brand (Aureli and Forlani, 2016). Moreover, through the work on the data of the Orvieto case, we will try to identify the possible option of the modalities of integration of the brand of the city, of the area, of the attractions, of the events and of the operators (single or/and associated).

The analysis focuses on the public entity (the municipality of Orvieto) and other 8-10 interesting subjects from the point of view of brand policies. The case study (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2003) of Orvieto has been chosen because of some characteristics as the quality of the attractions (Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Well and wine and food) and particular features of the local system (several small operators). These features make it an ideal case to study the policies related to the brand architecture (Aaker, 2004; Dooley and Bowie, 2005; Uggla, 2006; Moilanen, 2008; Chailan, 2008, 2013).

The analysis of brand policies is carried out observing the actions undertaken by the local actors. It is developed through desk analysis, using in-depth interviews and focus group to the persons responsible for communication policies. The performance achieved in terms of brand image (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1998) is measured through: the online visibility (assessed through an index); tourists’ perceptions evaluated by the analysis of on-line reviews and consumer satisfaction survey.

 

Il ruolo della Bandiera Arancione per la valorizzazione dei piccoli comuni dell’entroterra

di Tonino Pencarelli, Claudia Fraboni and Simone Splendiani

Il capitale culturale – Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage (PDF)

ABSTRACT

Obiettivo del lavoro è illustrare l’efficacia dei marchi ambientali nella valorizzazione dei piccoli comuni dell’entroterra, sia dal punto di vista della comunicazione turistica che da quello della qualità del territorio. La ricerca si focalizza sulla Regione Marche. Si analizzano le modalità di sfruttamento e valorizzazione del marchio Bandiera Arancione di tutti i comuni che hanno ricevuto il riconoscimento, oltre che la percezione degli enti locali circa le performance turistico-ambientali conseguite grazie ad esso. L’indagine è stata svolta somministrando un questionario (metodo CAWI) ai referenti dei 19 comuni Bandiera Arancione 2014. Dallo studio emerge come essi non sfruttino appieno le potenzialità offerte dalla certificazione, sia in termini di co-branding che di coinvolgimento degli stakeholders, ma riconoscano, tuttavia, l’importanza strategica rispetto alle finalità che l’adesione a Bandiera Arancione si propone di raggiungere a beneficio del territorio.

The main purpose of this paper was to determine the extent to which environmental awards may help enhancing the small-towns heritage. Focus was set on the Orange Flag to understand if municipalities properly take advantage of the award both in their communication policies and in the sustainable development of their territory. The survey was based on a questionnaire (CAWI method) forwarded to the 2014 Orange. Flag municipalities in the Marche region. The research revealed that municipalities do not take full advantage of the possibilities provided by the award mainly in terms of co-branding and stakeholders’ involvement. Even if they recognize great validity to the programme, the findings raised in this paper suggest a more effi cient use of the award. In particular, a better use of co-branding policies and a wider sharing of sustainability issues are suggested.

Enhancement of the “Blue Flag” Eco-label in Italy: an empirical analysis

by Tonino Pencarelli, Simone Splendiani and Claudia Fraboni

Anatolia, 2015.

ABSTRACT

Focusing on the Blue Flag, the paper aims to illustrate the role played by certification programmes in destination management and branding, as well as their potential for destination enhancement. The awareness of the benefits and the importance of the Eco-label as perceived by the Italian Blue Flag-awarded destinations and the degree to which the certification is effectively used in their communication strategies have been investigated. The research was conducted by submitting two different questionnaires to all Italian 2012-Blue Flag municipalities. The study reveals that the dynamics leading local authorities to join the Programme have more to do with the return in terms of brand image than with their environmental concerns, although they do little to promote the obtained award.

 

Le certificazioni ambientali e di qualità delle destinazioni turistiche: il panorama italiano

di Simone Splendiani

in Comunicare le destinazioni balneari: il ruolo della Bandiera Blu in Italia, Tonino Pencarelli (a cura di), Franco Angeli, 2015.

419boHyQOXL

+++Acquista il libro online+++

Il capitolo offre una rassegna dei principali marchi ambientali e di qualità, secondo un’accezione ampia che comprende tutte le forme di certificazione destinate agli enti locali, anche di diversa natura, ma unite dalla valenza comunicativa e dai valori ambientali e di sostenibilità che mirano a rappresentare:

  • la certificazione ISO 14001 (§ 2.2);
  • il regolamento EMAS (§ 2.3):
  • la Bandiera Blu (2.4);
  • la Bandiera Arancione del Touring Club Italia (§ 2.5);
  • I Borghi più Belli d’Italia (§ 2.6);
  • i siti Patrimonio Mondiale dell’Umanità (§ 2.7);
  • i Borghi Autentici d’Italia (§ 2.8);
  • le Vele di Legambiente (§ 2.9);
  • le Città Slow di Slow Food (§ 2.10);
  • la Bandiera Verde Agricoltura (§ 2.11);
  • il premio Città per il Verde (§ 2.12).

L’intento del capitolo è quello di offrire un quadro generale ed orientativo utile a studiosi e policy maker, senza tuttavia la pretesa di esaustività. Inoltre, il capitolo intende collocare il ruolo di Bandiera Blu nell’ampio contesto delle certificazioni ambientali al fine di metterne in luce l’abbondanza. Ciò se da un lato offre alle destinazioni un ampio spettro di strumenti per migliorare la sostenibilità dell’offerta, dall’altro rischia di disorientare turisti, policy maker e operatori nella comprensione del valore sotteso a ciascuna certificazione.

Riflessioni conclusive, sfide manageriali e percorsi di ricerca per la comunicazione sostenibile delle destinazioni balneari

by Tonino Pencarelli and Simone Splendiani

in Comunicare le destinazioni balneari: il ruolo della Bandiera Blu in Italia, Tonino Pencarelli (Edc), Franco Angeli, 2015.

Managing and marketing regional tourist destinations: the case of the Marche region (Italy)

by Simone Splendiani

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, Vol. 12, No. 2/2014.

ABSTRACT

After an introduction to the basic theoretical concepts of destination management, the study focuses on the organizational model developed in Italy to manage regional destinations. In particular, the paper analyzes the strategic and organizational approach adopted by the Marche region through a longitudinal study over a congruous time period of three years, from 2012 to 2014, in order to assess the critical issues related to marketing management and their evolution. The study reveals that for regional tourism managers the challenge is to identify the best mix of organizational solutions and strategic paths aimed at exploiting both resources and attractions through market-driven policies. Moreover, the study aims to offer some insight on the Italian tourism context, opening up further research paths for scholars and helping policy makers to adopt effective tools and strategies in order to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of regional destinations.