Destination Personality and Venice Islands: new insights
Burano and its colorful houses, Murano and its antique art of glass, Lido and its International Film Festival… Each island somehow contributes to the uniqueness and magnificence of Venetian territories. Although rich of history and tradition, Venice islands are not enough valued and promoted, and the paradoxical touristic overcrowding of Venice city center versus the scarce flow of visits suffered by the islands is the proof of that.
An experimental research has been conducted this year by b-sm@rk, an Italo-Irish company specialized in digital marketing, following a proposal from an intern native from Pellestrina who wanted to identify the main reasons of this circumstance. During this study, a sample of five significative islands (Burano, Murano, Pellestrina, Giudecca and Lido) has been taken into consideration, and the perception that residents and tourist have of these islands has been analyzed deeply.
The sample-public, composed of about 450 people, expressed since the beginning the need of further promoting and valuing Venice islands and denoted a certain awareness of the non-optimal connection among islands themselves and with the rest of Veneto region, first region in Italy for tourism.
From this starting point, which seems to highlight the apparent weaknesses, the research has been extended to emotional feelings. A general feeling of joy, experienced by almost half of the sample (43%), tops the list, followed by a sensation of trust from the 30% of the same inhabitants and curiosity from about the 14% of the tourists. Furthermore, for these last ones, the motivation of the visit to Venice islands tends towards the relaxation or naturalistic factor, with a recorded general median of about 6 out to 7 points. Satisfaction and revisit intention highlight a strong optimistic trend as well as promotional behavior and recommendation, with absolute values between 5 and 7 up to 7 points.
The heart of this research, and the real reason why it can be considered so experimental and innovative, is represented by a particular analysis: the one of the islands’ personality. More precisely, thanks to this study, it has been proved once again how it can be considered essential, in terms of smart tourism and smart travel, to examine the relationships between the visitor’s personality and the personality of the destination. In this specific context, the sample has been identified as particularly conscientious, agreeable and open to experience. The destination, that is Venice islands, has been perceived as exciting and hospitable and, in terms of brand, as emotional and simple.
The general picture concerning the current situation for Venice islands can be described by combining the different aspects emerging from this market research. A strong connection between the different personalities is evident: tourists, conscientious and agreeable, are looking for more than just a cultural visit, they dream of Venice islands as hospitable and familiar environments, able to offer a traditional, simple, emotional and cozy experience. At the basis there is a significant connection between human and destination personality, and as a consequence visitors’ behavior denotes a tendency towards satisfaction for the experience and promotional behavior for the islands.
Finally, the compatibility between the personality of the islands of their respective inhabitants and visitors seems to represent a strength for this destination, able to offer an experience rich of traditions and emotions. A further impulse to enhance the tourism of the islands could be recognized in potential actions to value the traditions and the hospitality of the same islands, or in possible technical interventions to improve the connection and the integration of the islands in the typical touristic routes of Venice.
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