Tourism-Marketing Performance Metrics and Usefulness Auditing of Destination Websites: Volume 4

Cover of Tourism-Marketing Performance Metrics and Usefulness Auditing of Destination Websites

Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Volume 4 in the series includes eight chapters. In the first chapter, Arch G. Woodside provides an extensive review of literature on measuring the influence of advertising and marketing to cause visits, expenditures by visitors, and returns on tourism advertising-marketing investments. He boldly predicts unobtrusive field experiments that measure tourism advertising-marketing influences will be adopted by destination marketing organizations before 2020.

Although scientific methods are available for evaluating the impact of intervention programs (e.g., plant growth of alternative seeds and soil treatments; consumer purchases of alternative prices, brands, and products; reforms such as regulations requiring wearing helmets by motorcycle riders), tourism marketing programs fail to use these methods. Traditional “conversion studies” – estimating the rate inquiries from tourism advertising convert into visitors by asking samples of inquirers if they visited – have fatal flaws in measuring whether or not the advertising caused visits to the destination that otherwise would not have occurred. The failure to stop doing traditional conversion studies to measure whether or not advertising causes visits appears to be an example of ignorance of ignorance, that is, tourism marketing executives do not have the knowledge and skills for applying effective methods to estimate the effectiveness of marketing and advertising's influence on causing visits, and they are unaware of their ignorance. What to do? New technologies in delivering advertising is decreasing the costs and efforts of using scientific methods for measuring advertising and marketing's impact on visits. Large, unobtrusive, scientific field experiments are appearing in the literature in the second decade of the 21st century. Good news at last?

This chapter reports on how to assess the usefulness of official tourism websites; the study applies for information audit rubrics to assess the marketing websites for three cities in the state of California. The study provides tools that may be useful for designing destination websites to include information that visitors find useful. The three focal cities include Los Angeles (, San Diego (, and San Francisco ( One of the hypotheses that the study examines is that destination websites are assessable in order of good, better, best. Findings: San Francisco provides the most useful information and is likely to be the most successful official tourism website. The assessment of San Francisco as the best website is the outcome of applying macro and micro rubrics covering: general and practical information, ability to book a vacation, digital and print materials, use of media components, and partnerships.

Through the use of website usability literature and tourism website analysis and experience, this theory proposes that user satisfaction on the website relates to six key drivers. The six drivers are crucial offerings of a tourism website and without successfully applying them the website may fail to meet the requirements of the end user. The six drivers for high website usability include tourist details, site appearance/usability, deals/promotions, segment marketing, foreign focus, and use of social media. This chapter puts the theory to action during an analysis of three northeastern states’ tourism websites. This study analyzes the tourism websites of New York, Massachusetts, and Maine using the six key drivers. The analysis demonstrates areas of strength and development for each state and directly ties back to the six drivers of user satisfaction for tourism websites.

Numerous travel websites have become popular in the past decade. Some destination websites allow travelers to book flights, hotels, restaurant visits, and tours. They also provide a great way for other tourists to leave feedback on the visits they had to specific travel destinations and provide other customers with reliable accounts. In this case, the theory proposes that unique offerings on a website have a greater affect on getting website visitors who are potential tourists to actually visit the website's destination. The findings show that interactive tourism websites that keep up with current technology will translate into attracting the most visitors to that specific city location. This study is unique and valuable as the analysis of the three tourism websites indicates the uniqueness of each of the three specific cities located on the Mediterranean Sea: Valencia, Marseille, and Genoa. This study provides a detailed analysis of each of the three cities’ travel websites and ranks each of the websites to evaluate which is the most reliable and most appealing to today's busy travelers. Valencia's tourism website earns “Best” of the three tourism destination websites. Marseille and Genoa's website do not offer the same caliber of information and lack the detail of Valencia's website. Valencia's website is easy to use, has the most up-to-date technology sources, and is physically the most appealing.

Measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of a website can be very difficult and subjective. These sites can be evaluated in different ways, depending on which factor is considered as the most important one in promoting a website. Theory suggests some key factors when evaluating the effectiveness of a Web site, such as the quantity of information provided, the design of the Web site, or the reciprocity created with the customer. This chapter focuses on these factors to evaluate effectiveness. However, to complete this evaluation, it is highly recommended using other traditional tools like survey methodology. Both online and email surveys are necessary to get a more detailed conclusion when investigating effectiveness of a tourism promotional Web site. Evaluation of Web site effectiveness is necessary because of the significant costs for setup, advertising, and maintenance.

American tourism is largely affected by the ability and ease with which one can travel to a tourist destination. Information availability, utility, and value of information on websites are essential in choosing and planning a vacation or business trip. This study compares visa and nonvisa tourist destinations as they relate to American tourism and business travel. Each destination's internet website quality, quantity, and utility are compared through an evaluation rubric with 36 attributes. Four countries are considered to provide two countries in each category of visa required and nonvisa required. The marketing mediums compared are the government run websites and Lonely Planet's private sector version. The first proposition is that countries that require visas lack the quality and quantity in internet marketing in comparison to those countries that do not require a visa. The second proposition is that the government run websites are comprehensive in detailing information in comparison to privately created websites. The eight complete rubrics achieve a comparison that is comprehensive demonstrating variability in quality and information available. The third proposition addresses is the fact that the quality of the government run websites relates strongly to the overall web presence and periodical existence of that particular countries’ tourist destination literature. This chapter is unique and valuable to those considering travel to a visa-required destination but the theories demonstrated highlight the deficiencies of private sector websites and the fast pace growth of internet tourism marketing.

Consumer-generated advertisements are advertisements made by consumers for brands they love and hate. This study considers why consumers create their own brand commercials and how to classify the types of commercials they make. The chapter also discusses the attitude of companies toward consumer-generated advertisements and the effect of companies’ attitudes on the commercials. The study compares two different brands with a different attitude toward consumer-generated advertisements – Starbucks and Chipotle. An active and positive attitude of the company toward consumer-generated advertisements results in more positive advertisements.

This chapter describes and applies concepts informed by the behavioral theories of the firm to investigate the macrocosmic dynamisms as embodied in China's travel agency policy changes. Through a focused thick description, the study reviews the evolution of China's travel agency regulations since its reform and opening up era and subsequently discusses the impacts and implications of the recent changes in China's travel agency regulations on the regional tourism. By reviewing the evolution of China's travel agency regulations and discussing the impacts of the recent changes in the 2009 Travel Agency Act on the regional tourism, this chapter demonstrates that (1) the government has undergone a learning process to integrate both internal and external evolution factors in regulating its travel agencies’ behaviors; (2) the government–firm relationship behaviors remain the center in the evolution of China's travel agency policies; and (3) the 2009 Travel Agency Act would act as a shock factor initiated by the government to change the routines in firm behaviors, and subsequently the population ecology in both China's and the regional tourism industry.

Cover of Tourism-Marketing Performance Metrics and Usefulness Auditing of Destination Websites
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Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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