Tourism development relies increasingly on the destination image and reputation. Technological advancement – including social media - and increased international competition affect the way in which tourism destinations and their features are promoted to large number of potential visitors. Interestingly, public institutions are becoming more involved in competing with other destinations and committed to promoting their territories with the result that competition among destinations is fierce. Like nations and regions, cities have become aware of the importance of enhancing their reputation and compete, as companies do, with their products and services in attracting demand, key resources and strategic economic activities (Baggio, Mottironi, Antonioli Corigliano 2011; Porter, 1990, 2000). Public authorities play their institutional role promoting the image of a territory since it represents a value for its community and, as such, it is a public good which should be cherished and at the same time protected. The municipality of Milan has put a considerable effort in promoting the city on the national and international tourism market, redesigning and implementing its website as well as increasing its presence online using social network. Given the importance of an efficient and effective use of online media to promote a destination, this paper aims to evaluate the online presence of Milan as a tourist destination engaged in the 2017 European Best Destination Competition, possibly with the goal to outperform their rivals. The competition is organized by an independent European organization based in Brussels that aims to promote culture and tourism in Europe. Twenty destinations were in the competition and on-line voting on European Best Destinations website took place from 20th January to 10th February 2017. Datasets consist of texts, in Italian and English, provided by Milan City Marketing Division and Tourism Department published on Turismo Milano, the official city portal, and posted on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) used by the City of Milan, before, during, and after the competition. Using the methodological frameworks of Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough 1995, 2001, 2003; Fairclough / Wodak 1997), I will focus on the communicative strategies and salient linguistic features used to (re)assemble, (re)position and reformulate the tourism product offering (Govers 2005). In particular, investigating how evaluative language is used in the selected texts provide significant indications of the underlying ideology and the construction of shared values (cf. Thompson and Hunston 2000) that contribute to fostering solidarity and community building. An examination of the data shows how words and images are combined, and how texts combine words and images, making use of description and narration, information and persuasion, etc. The analysis illustrates how meaning and representation of Milan as a tourism space is shifting. Indeed, the research context of Milan illustrates the need to reconstruct the traditional perception of the city as an attractive global business hub. The vision of a Milan that seems to emerge from the analysis of the dataset is somewhat different as texts reflect the contrast between modern Milan and the respect for tradition, local culture and heritage, while at the same time trying to create awareness for the rich cultural identity of the city.

Promoting the city image and involving the community: Milan and the 2017 European Best Destination Competition / M. Bait. ((Intervento presentato al 82. convegno Annual International Conference tenutosi a Dublin nel 2017.

Promoting the city image and involving the community: Milan and the 2017 European Best Destination Competition

M. Bait
2017-10-19

Abstract

Tourism development relies increasingly on the destination image and reputation. Technological advancement – including social media - and increased international competition affect the way in which tourism destinations and their features are promoted to large number of potential visitors. Interestingly, public institutions are becoming more involved in competing with other destinations and committed to promoting their territories with the result that competition among destinations is fierce. Like nations and regions, cities have become aware of the importance of enhancing their reputation and compete, as companies do, with their products and services in attracting demand, key resources and strategic economic activities (Baggio, Mottironi, Antonioli Corigliano 2011; Porter, 1990, 2000). Public authorities play their institutional role promoting the image of a territory since it represents a value for its community and, as such, it is a public good which should be cherished and at the same time protected. The municipality of Milan has put a considerable effort in promoting the city on the national and international tourism market, redesigning and implementing its website as well as increasing its presence online using social network. Given the importance of an efficient and effective use of online media to promote a destination, this paper aims to evaluate the online presence of Milan as a tourist destination engaged in the 2017 European Best Destination Competition, possibly with the goal to outperform their rivals. The competition is organized by an independent European organization based in Brussels that aims to promote culture and tourism in Europe. Twenty destinations were in the competition and on-line voting on European Best Destinations website took place from 20th January to 10th February 2017. Datasets consist of texts, in Italian and English, provided by Milan City Marketing Division and Tourism Department published on Turismo Milano, the official city portal, and posted on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) used by the City of Milan, before, during, and after the competition. Using the methodological frameworks of Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough 1995, 2001, 2003; Fairclough / Wodak 1997), I will focus on the communicative strategies and salient linguistic features used to (re)assemble, (re)position and reformulate the tourism product offering (Govers 2005). In particular, investigating how evaluative language is used in the selected texts provide significant indications of the underlying ideology and the construction of shared values (cf. Thompson and Hunston 2000) that contribute to fostering solidarity and community building. An examination of the data shows how words and images are combined, and how texts combine words and images, making use of description and narration, information and persuasion, etc. The analysis illustrates how meaning and representation of Milan as a tourism space is shifting. Indeed, the research context of Milan illustrates the need to reconstruct the traditional perception of the city as an attractive global business hub. The vision of a Milan that seems to emerge from the analysis of the dataset is somewhat different as texts reflect the contrast between modern Milan and the respect for tradition, local culture and heritage, while at the same time trying to create awareness for the rich cultural identity of the city.
tourism, destination; brand, city image, cultural identity, critical discourse analysis
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
Association of Business Communication
Promoting the city image and involving the community: Milan and the 2017 European Best Destination Competition / M. Bait. ((Intervento presentato al 82. convegno Annual International Conference tenutosi a Dublin nel 2017.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/620776
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