Silvia moved to Switzerland in 2001 from her home-town on the Italian Adriatic coast, to study Communications at the University of Lugano (USI). There, she first completed a Bachelor and then a Master degree, with a thesis about argumentation (i.e. reasoning) in Bioethics. She is now a Postdoctoral Researcher. In her research she focuses on online fora and reviews – i.e. UGC – about some selected destinations trying to answer questions like: what motivates people to leave for a journey? What do they look for, that they cannot have in their place?
She got acquainted with tourism when she was picking tomatoes and talking to a friend in a monastery – one of those places where silence and atmosphere particularly help with thinking! Tourism became her favourite context of interest, because of the possibility it gives to understand human nature. The argumentative analysis of UGC allows, in fact, to unveil implicit premises used by people in their reasoning. It also provides insights regarding the common knowledge, beliefs, values and preferences – more synthetically, the cultural or contextual premises – on which tourists’ arguments are constructed.
Thanks to a fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation, she spent one year at the University of Wollongong (Australia), working with Prof. Ulrike Gretzel. There she worked on two main issues: measuring the predictability of online travel reviews titles to select useful reviews, and understanding the role of visitor information services in the future.
View Silvia’s profile on USI website.