Lorenzo Cantoni, Nadzeya Kalbaska, Elena Marchiori, and Silvia Matilde De Ascaniis

eTourism: Communication Perspectives

  • Late 2015
  • 8 weeks
  • 3-4 hours/week
  • English
  • Communications

About this course

This is an introductory course to a fascinating journey into the eTourism world, which crosses both space and time, and is always closely connected with communication. We are embarking to create a great study experience, which explores how Information and Communication Technologies shape tourism – both for our personal experience and for the tourism industry at large. In other words, we will together explore eTourism by using tools and models from the Communication Sciences.

Key concepts and theories covered include: Online Communication Model; Roman Jakobson's Communication Model; Quality of online contents; User Generated Content; Web 2.0; Reputation in online Media; Intercultural Communication and Localisation; eLearning; Argumentation; World Heritage Sites.


We expect the following people to be attracted by the course in order to update their skills and knowledge on a very hot topic:
• Destination managers
• People active in the tourism industry
• Policy makers
• Students, in particular within tourism and hospitality programs
• Academia and researchers


As this is an introductory course, no prerequisite knowledge is necessary to participate.


By the end of the course, learners will know:
• what communication is, and its major components, ICTs and their relevance to the tourism field.
• how to be aware of the crucial role played by communication and ICTs within the tourism and hospitality sectors.
• current eTourism applications, technologies and practices.
• how to map different communication activities within the tourism sector.
• what kinds of online training courses can be used for the knowledge upgrade within tourism and hospitality.
• how to run a usability test and how to make usages analysis of a website or mobile app.
• how to plan, run and evaluate eTourism related activities, especially when it comes to the analysis of online reputation of a tourism destination.


Chapter 1. Communication: an introduction to its nature and history (October 5-11, 2015)

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Theoretical part:
The etymology of communication and its major components
Case study:
UNESCO World Heritage Sites and eTourism

Chapter 2. The Online Communication Model (OCM) and the quality of online contents (October 12-18, 2015)

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Theoretical part:
The Online Communication Model
Case study:
Analysis of the content quality in online communication

Chapter 3. Usability analysis and web analytics (October 19-25, 2015)

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Theoretical part:
Usability and usages analysis of tourism websites, mobile apps and other online communication tools
Case study:
Strategies to assess usability

Chapter 4. Localisation of online content (October 26-1, 2015)

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Assistant: Emanuele Mele
Theoretical part:
Cultural translation / localization of messages for people with different cultural backgrounds and experiences
Case study:
Localized website for domestic and international visitors. Case of Quito (Ecuador)

Chapter 5. B2B activities and eLearning within the hospitality and tourism domain (November 2-8, 2015)

Instructor: Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska
Theoretical part:
The notion of eLearning and its use in the hospitality and tourism field
Case study:
eLearning courses about Destination Management Organizations. Case of “Ticino Switzerland Travel Specialist” online course

Chapter 6. User Generated Contents (UGCs) & Web 2.0 (November 9-15, 2015)

Instructors: Dr. Silvia de Ascaniis; Dr. Elena Marchiori
Theoretical part:
Communication opportunities given by UGCs and Web 2.0
Case study:
Hotels’ communication strategies to respond to online reviews

Chapter 7. Reputation in online media (November 16-22, 2015)

Instructor: Dr. Elena Marchiori
Theoretical part:
The definition of the reputation construct and its relevance in the online domain
Case study:
How to analyze the online reputation of a tourist destination

Chapter 8. Argumentation in online travel reviews (November 23-29, 2015)

Instructor: Dr. Silvia de Ascaniis
Assistant: Jingjing Lin
Theoretical part:
Definition of argumentation
Case study:
Argumentative analysis of Online Travel Reviews of a Chinese National Park