A social media approach to evaluating heritage destination perceptions: the case of Istanbul

KLADOU, Stella and MAVRAGANI, Eleni (2016). A social media approach to evaluating heritage destination perceptions: the case of Istanbul. In: ALVAREZ, Maria, YUKSEL, Attila and GO, Frank, (eds.) Heritage tourism destinations : preservation, communication and development. Wallingford, UK, CAB International, 91-104.

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Marketing strategies have long been considered essential for the development of successful destination brands. Their success, however, lies not upon the plans decided in closed boardrooms between tourism stakeholders, but upon the position the destination holds in the minds of actual and potential travellers. This may lead either to a competitive advantage and positive word-of-mouth or, alternatively, to pricy yet unsuccessful investments. Particularly heritage destinations often find themselves struggling to reinvent themselves and balance between current consumer trends and their local culture, which national stakeholders often believe to preannounce the success of their branding strategies. Within these lines, destination image from the tourists' point-of-view, offers a valuable evaluation and potential strategic tool, especially when assessed through its reflections on popular online media. Given the prioritization of culture and heritage for Istanbul as a tourism destination, their importance for tourists posting online is put on the scope as well. Destination image and online marketing are both popular research domains in the tourism literature. Still, limited studies attempt to assess destination image as reflected through actual tourists’ evaluations and reviews on social media. The current study contributes towards this direction, and embarks upon to analyse the three image components (i.e. cognitive, affective, conative) in the case of Istanbul. The destination image concept is presented from the tourists’ point-of-view, as they review Istanbul on TripAdvisor throughout the summer in 2013. Findings describe the destination image factors influencing online behavior, thereby contributing to extant knowledge. Finally, the study provides practitioners with a better understanding of travelers' image perceptions.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Service Sector Management
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Stella Kladou
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 14:35
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2018 07:33
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059

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