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Creating UGC Areas of Official Destination Websites: Is there a Recipe for Success? An Insight through Netnographic Research

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  • Osti, Linda
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    Abstract

    An analysis of the existing literature has demonstrated the importance of word of mouth as a source of information for potential tourists and service consumers. The growth of the Internet and interactive websites has lead to the creation of online communities that serve as points of reference for word of mouth and in particular for independent, personal and experiential information. Recent articles have noted the growing interest of tourism companies and destinations to include UGC areas in their official websites to provide their users with these types of information and interactivity among each others. However, so far little research has been performed on the success factors of online communities. This paper wants to create a platform for further research on the topic. If destinations want to boost visits to their websites through UGS areas and create a “buzz” through positive word of mouth, it is necessary to know the correct ingredients for success. Some of these ingredients have been discovered through a netnographic analysis of an Italian virtual mountaineering community. The analysis has shown that some of the most important issues when creating online communities are the reliability of information, the ease of finding information and creating threads and posts, the constant appearance of interesting threads and discussions, the respect for other members, the passion of all of the active users for the same topics and a certain homogeneity within the users.

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    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/25436/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25436.

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    Date of creation: 15 Jul 2009
    Date of revision: Aug 2009
    Publication status: Published in TOURISMOS: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism 3.4(2009): pp. 99-112
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25436

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    Related research

    Keywords: virtual communities; netnography; electronic word of mouth; forums; information search;

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    References

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    1. Fuller, Johann & Jawecki, Gregor & Muhlbacher, Hans, 2007. "Innovation creation by online basketball communities," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 60-71, January.
    2. Ariely, Dan, 2000. " Controlling the Information Flow: Effects on Consumers' Decision Making and Preferences," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-48, September.
    3. Fong, John & Burton, Suzan, 2008. "A cross-cultural comparison of electronic word-of-mouth and country-of-origin effects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 233-242, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Elliot, Statia & Li, Guoxin & Choi, Chris, 2013. "Understanding service quality in a virtual travel community environment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1153-1160.

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