Tourism development perspectives and land use planning often intersect in sustainable tourism management. However, the promised (advertised) sustainability and concrete communication practices in the tourism industry and destination management seem to be at a crucial point, especially considering the radical impact brought by social media technologies on tourists’ preferences and their destination image perceptions. Aiming at reaching a deeper understanding of communication of sustainable tourism in urban and rural spaces through the ‘eyes of the users’, the paper identifies different types of influencers on Instagram and how they are associated with tourism destinations. By focusing on the role of social media influencers in shaping destination images, the paper analyzes the use of the hashtag #sustainabletourism on Instagram from January 2012 to January 2019. A mixed-method approach has been used to map both the evolution of sustainable tourism-related content and a typology of influencers. The results show that different kind of Instagram’s influencers differently generate engagement according to tourism destinations. Findings are used to derive insights for policy makers, planners and organizations by inferring how influencers can act as central hubs in connecting urban and rural environments, seen as tourism destinations, and in raising awareness of their sustainable attributes.

Urban and rural destinations on Instagram: exploring the influencers’ role in #sustainabletourism

Maria Palazzo
;
Agostino Vollero;Pierluigi Vitale;Alfonso Siano
2021

Abstract

Tourism development perspectives and land use planning often intersect in sustainable tourism management. However, the promised (advertised) sustainability and concrete communication practices in the tourism industry and destination management seem to be at a crucial point, especially considering the radical impact brought by social media technologies on tourists’ preferences and their destination image perceptions. Aiming at reaching a deeper understanding of communication of sustainable tourism in urban and rural spaces through the ‘eyes of the users’, the paper identifies different types of influencers on Instagram and how they are associated with tourism destinations. By focusing on the role of social media influencers in shaping destination images, the paper analyzes the use of the hashtag #sustainabletourism on Instagram from January 2012 to January 2019. A mixed-method approach has been used to map both the evolution of sustainable tourism-related content and a typology of influencers. The results show that different kind of Instagram’s influencers differently generate engagement according to tourism destinations. Findings are used to derive insights for policy makers, planners and organizations by inferring how influencers can act as central hubs in connecting urban and rural environments, seen as tourism destinations, and in raising awareness of their sustainable attributes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4748605
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