Evaluation of Official Tourism Websites of World’s Leading Tourist Destinations using the Balanced Score-Card Approach

Himanshu Singh, Jeannie Bhatia
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Abstract


Tourism and hospitality is one industry that directly or indirectly touches the life of each human being on the planet. One in every seven people on the earth travels internationally once a year with the international arrival touching the historical one billion mark during the last couple of years. Also the industry provides employment to nearly one tenth of the people and economically the significance of this industry is immense as it contributes a tenth part to the world economy. Within the industry some major and leading tourist destinations constitute nearly half of the overall industry and have been on top of the list over the years. The way people communicate, gather information and the factors that make or break a decision to travel have transformed traditional modes to the modern and effective once with the dawn of digitalization era.  

Recognizing the embryonic significance of electronic platform, the internet and online media as a source for gathering information, communication, determining travelling decisions and finalizing transactions, the present study is intended at a comparative content analysis of the official tourism websites of world’s top tourist destinations from the perspective of tourism promotion by incorporating the modified Balanced Score Card (BSC) approach, in order to evaluate their performance. A set of critical success factors under the technical, user friendliness and site attractiveness, tourism effectiveness and food tourism effectiveness perspectives, have been examined.

The study presents the strengths and development areas of the respective official tourism websites of the sampled top destinations on the comprehended parameters and attempts to suggest some meaningful remedial measures in order to embolden the tourism promotion through web portals.

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