Evgenia Panagiotidou, Luca Bagiante, Alessia Borré, Elena Marchiori, Lorenzo Cantoni. Destination Image Report: Perceptions of Lugano and Ticino, Switzerland. ~ 1 MB
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Abstract: What is the current image of Lugano as a tourism destination? What are the components of this image, and which elements render Lugano and Ticino, Switzerland, an attractive destination?
The purpose of this research is to give answers to the above-listed questions in order to map the current perceptions that people hold about Lugano and the Canton of Ticino as tourism destinations. A deep insight into the above topics should allow the identification of possible gaps in the online communication strategy of the city or the Canton regarding the promotion of tourism in the region. Such gaps may emerge from inconsistencies between the actual image of Lugano through the peoples’ eyes, and the one that the destination-managers hold.
To collect needed data the study conducted a survey of a sample of 100 interviewees, who were asked to respond to a questionnaire of 26 questions, including both closed and open-ended items. The majority (52%) were women, and 53% of the respondents were between 18 and 29 years old. In addition, 29 countries of origin occurred, with Switzerland (the Italian part), Italy and Germany being the three main basins.
The study presents the associations people make with Lugano and Ticino, which leads to the understanding of the image these places have. The strongest components of the image of Lugano are the mountains, the lake and the sun, whereas people think of it as a place to do outdoor activities, enjoy relaxing moments and the food.
When it comes to the analysis of more vs. less attractive elements of Ticino, the study shows that the inviting elements of Ticino are the nature, the weather and the quality of life. On the contrary, the good value for money and the UNESCO sites are the elements that are the least perceived as attractive features of the Canton.
The last two topics tackled by the questionnaire are whether people believe that Lugano is an appropriate destination for Chinese tourists, and which is the role of social media in travel planning. Concerning the first one, generally people agree that Lugano is a suitable destination for Chinese tourists, mainly because of the landscape and the nature. The argument of the minority who disagrees is the lack of attractions and the language barrier. Finally, 44% of the respondents sometimes use social media when they plan a trip, while 35% always do so. However, although 38% of the respondents have a neutral position when it comes to the trust of online reviews and comments, a percentage of 30.4% declare a high trust towards them.