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Exploring tourists’ cultural experiences in Naples through online reviews

Maria I. Simeon (Institute for Research on Innovation and Development Services, National Research Council, Naples, Italy)
Piera Buonincontri (Institute for Research on Innovation and Development Services, National Research Council, Naples, Italy)
Fernando Cinquegrani (CoopCulture, Rome, Italy)
Assunta Martone (Institute for Research on Innovation and Development Services, National Research Council, Naples, Italy)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse online reviews to explore the experiences of tourists related to cultural attractions. Furthermore, the study identifies similarities and differences between cultural attractions and identifies tourists’ preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis and principal component analysis are applied to 12.592 online reviews, in Italian, posted on TripAdvisor by tourists who visited 58 cultural attractions of Naples (Italy) between 2011 and 2014.

Findings

Findings reveal five critical components of tourists’ experience related to cultural attractions: wonder, authenticity, relaxation, discovery and knowledge. Findings show that tourists can interpret cultural attractions in different ways.

Research limitations/implications

This study makes advancements on the relationships between tourists’ experience and cultural attractions. Research limitations are related to the geographical context and to the database, which presents a strong standardisation of evaluations, almost never negative. Furthermore, the analysis is limited to online reviews written in Italian language. Future studies will be dedicated to explore reviews in other languages and on other cultural destinations.

Practical implications

The study draws managerial implications at local and general level. Locally, findings provide suggestions and practical implications to support the tourism policies and marketing of Naples. At general level, the paper provides implications for destination manager organisations and policy makers to strengthen the attractiveness of cultural attractions, develop destination marketing strategies and offer more satisfying cultural experiences.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies that uses online reviews to explore the experiences of tourists who visit cultural attractions.

Keywords

Citation

Simeon, M.I., Buonincontri, P., Cinquegrani, F. and Martone, A. (2017), "Exploring tourists’ cultural experiences in Naples through online reviews", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 220-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTT-10-2016-0067

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited