This presentation belongs to the presentation of Bel Llodrà from Fundació Bit in the 5th International Colloquium on Place Brand Management, that took place the last 4-5 September 2015 in Aosta, Italy.
The power of local communities in the destination image formation process
The power of local communities in the
destination image formation process
Bel Llodrà Riera. Fundació Balear d'Innovació i Tecnologia.Spain
María Pilar Martínez Ruiz. Universidad Castilla-La Mancha. Spain
Ana Isabel Jiménez Zarco. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Spain
IN3. Internet Interdisciplinary Institute
5th International Colloquium on Place Brand Management
4-5 September 2015, Aosta, Italy.
Main objectives of the research
To analyse how cognitive, affective and unique
images are formed.
To analyse perceptions about the destination of
tourists who know residents.
Taking into account the influence of Internet and User
Generated Content (UGC) on image formation.
The destination image formation
… is important for the economy of the region
(Beerli y Martin, 2004)
(Qu et al., 2011)
The destination image formation with the Internet
ICT have brought a new communication paradigm:
DMO, suppliers, travellers and residents can
publish information about a tourist destination
Social Media and Web 2.0. have facilitated the
publication of content about a tourist destination
Content published by unofficial sources is consulted
by potential travellers
Previous approaches (I)
DMO and stakeholders contribute explicitly to managing
destination images (Miralbell et al., 2010)
Local residents also can have important impacts on
destination perceptions (Schroeder, 1996; Bornhorst,
Ritchie, & Sheehan, 2010; Martínez, Penelas-Cortés, &
Information sources influence the image perception of a
tourist destination (Beerli and Martin, 2004).
Previous approaches (II)
Potential tourists use Internet (Buhalis and Law, 2008).
The cognitive, affective and unique dimensions of the
image influence a repeat visit and intention to recommend
the destination (Qu et al., 2011).
Web platforms as information sources affect how brand
image has traditionally been managed (Christodoulides et
Webs to obtain and publish travel content
Webs, chats and forums (Gelb and Sundaram, 2002).
Search engines (Buhalis, 2003).
Blogs (Pan et al., 2007).
Online reviews (Litvin et al., 2008; Papathanassis and
Virtual travel communities (Casaló et al., 2010).
Social media and social networks (Xiang and Gretzel,
2010; Huertas, 2012).
Framework: The Web and social media as information sources
Internet is one of the main sources of tourist information
(e. g. Buhalis, 1998; Wu et al., 2008).
The destination image perception is influenced by the
online searches (Biswas, 2004).
TGC contributes to create the destination brand (Munar,
Motivations are a dynamic concept and can vary
according to the person or market segment (Kozak,
2002) and influence image destination (Beeli and Martin,
We propose to analyse whether the value assigned to
various attributes that form images of tourist
destinations differ between tourists who know
residents and those who do not know them.
We specifically analyse the role of the Internet in the
process of building an image; it acts primarily as a
source of information that disseminates, transfers,
and communicates content and a relationships
channel between tourists and residents.
The destination image of local community could influence
organic and induced images of non residents
H1 The utility of some information sources and Web
Platforms varies when tourists know residents
H2 Some motivations vary when tourists know residents
H3 Some attributes of cognitive, affective and unique
images are better valued when tourists know residents
H4 The intention of visit and recommendation is higher
when tourists know residents
Information sources and Web platforms constructs (14 + 19 = 33
items). E.g.: OMD, travel guides, films, books, friends,... Search
engines, web of suppliers, social networks, blogs,...
Motivations construct (32 items). E.g.: relaxation, discovery,
enjoying, learning, gastronomy, proximity, nature, cultural activities,
Cognitive image construct (11 items) and quality (9 items): E.g.:
sun and sea, sports, infrastructures, friendly local people,...
Affective image construct (37 items): E.g.: pleasant, interesting,
pretty, friendly, original, charming, quiet,...
Unique image construct (14 items): E.g.:Hiking through stone
paths, experiencing the work of famous artists,...
Research: Technical details
Universe International and national tourists
and residents in Mallorca
Sample unit People over 18 who use Internet
Information collecting method Online questionnaire
Sample error 4,21%
Level of reliability 95,00%
Sample procedure Probabilistic method
Sample design The information was collected via
a Web using an online
questionnaire. The link was sent by
e-mail and was published in social
Number surveyed 541 valid surveys out of 543
Period of information collection 19 March to 2 May, 2013
España (outside Mallorca) 34,4
Outside España 41,8
<= 24 13,3
25 - 44 61,9
45 - 64 20,9
From 0 to15.000€ 20,9
From 15.001 to 30.000€ 27,7
From 30.001 to 45.000€ 21,3
From 45.001 to 60.000€ 13,9
More than 60.000€ 16,3
User Generated Content
How often do you publish or share information about tourism and travel on the Internet?
Variability of average. ANOVA analysis
Levene's Test: homogeneity of variance or
Kolmogorov–Smirnov test: testing for normality of the
Kruskal–Wallis Chi-Squared one-way analysis of
variance. Non-Parametric Test.
H1: Information sources
Only 5 of 33 items have significant differences.
12 of 32 motivations have significant differences
H3: Cognitive Image
11 of 20 attributes of cognitive image have significant
H3: Unique Image
12 of 14 attributes of unique image have significant
H3: Affective Image
11 of 37 attributes of affective image have significant
The Internet emerged as the most useful source of
information about Mallorca, followed by friends and
Websites describing rental accommodations and
DMO webs received better scores from visitors who
did not know any local residents
knowing someone who lives in Mallorca increases the
importance assigned to certain visit motivations,
such as the weather, enjoying nature and outdoor
activities, proximity, and travel for personal or
The segment that expresses the most value for
natural areas consists of people from outside the
island who know some residents.
With regard to the island’s unique image, knowing
residents increased the average scores on all these
Mallorca seems slightly more pleasant, nice, and
relaxing if tourists know some residents, as well as
less gloomy, ugly, and unpleasant; however, it
appears more exciting if they do not know anyone.
Residents thus generally improve the emotional
image, possibly because visitors who know residents
may tend to transfer their affection for the resident to
the affective image of the island.
Finally, knowing residents influences assessments of
the general image of Mallorca, as well as intentions
to visit for the first time and to revisit.
Tourists who know residents of a destination develop
better perceptions of that destination’s image.
Local and national DMOs should attempt to engage
residents in disseminating information about tourist
attractions, which can expand the information available
Implying residents as communication channels with
tourists can help the destination attract more visitors.
Challenges: Internet is an ideal channel for dissemination
From mass communication to relational communication
From copyright to copyleft and creative commons
Implicate all destination stakeholders, inclusive local communities,
in the communication plan