Good, better, best practise – a comparative analysis of official destination websites

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: The uplifting financial impact that tourism may have on local and global economies of scale has resulted in tourists becoming a highly sought-after commodity capable of turning almost any tourism destination and its attractions into thriving exports. With the rapid evolution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the introduction of smart technologies in particular, however, tourism has become not only more accessible, but arguably also more competitive with an online, try-before-you-buy tourism experience now becoming a reality. Subsequently, the battle is no longer for top offline destination only, but also for online destination of choice. An opportunity thus exists for Official Destination Websites (ODWs) to take advantage of these, and additional opportunities, to enhance a prospective tourist’s online, pre-tourism experience. By analysing seven of the world’s most popular destinations’ capital city ODWs, we come to realise that ODWs have become an integrated, rather than independent, part of facilitating tourism. As such, the importance of developing, implementing and maintaining an ODW to increase the likelihood of a possible tourist conversion from mere browser to buyer is highlighted. Finally, the similarities and differences between the analysed ODWs are also listed in an attempt to guide prospective tourism destinations in their endeavour to establish a new ODW, as well as allowing destinations with an existing ODW to possibly implement improvements.