The role of online conversation analysis on tourism and sustainability is underrated, especially in policymaking and management of sustainability of tourist destinations. The paper reports an analysis of online conversations retrieved from Twitter during the 2016 peak season, referring to four main destinations located in the Adriatic-Ionian region. The focus is analyzing the meaning of the expression “sustainable tourism” as emerging from online texting. Findings are that private users do not talk about sustainability and features of sustainable tourism while using Twitter, enforcing the idea that sustainable tourism has popular “meaning” and “appeal” possibly different from scientific approach. Users tell exclusively on leisure features of destinations, and public bodies neglect the opportunity of using Twitter for image building and web listening. Private companies, public administrators, and policymakers should benefit from the exposed procedures for online conversation analyses in designing and organizing their respective tasks. Researchers and destination managers would be also interested in the existing divide between official documents and statements on sustainability and sustainable tourism and reality of popular perception of the issue.
Part of the book: Mobilities, Tourism and Travel Behavior