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

Himanshu Singh, Jeannie Bhatia
1.910 169


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.

Full Text:



Buhalis, D. and Schertler, W. (1999) Information and communication technologies in tourism. Springer-Wien, New York.

Burger, F. (1997). TIS@WEB-database supported tourist information on the Web. Tjoa, A.M. (Ed.) (1997), Information and communication technologies in tourism. Springer-Wien, New York.

Clyde, S. and Landfried, T. (1995). Our town: a distributed multi-media system for travel and tourism. Schertler, W. (Ed.) (1995), Information and communication technologies in tourism. Springer-Wien, New York.

Corigliano, M.A. and Baggio, R. (2006). On the significance of tourism website evaluations. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism, 320-331.

Dahiya, A. and Duggal, S. (2013). Comparative Analysis of the Website Performance of Industry Integrated HMIs, Central Government IHMs and State Government IHMs in India. J Tourism Hospit, 2(117), 2167-0269.

Dahiya, A. and Duggal, S. (2015). Evaluating the Official Websites of SAARC Countries on their Web Information on Food Tourism. Asia Pacific Journal of Information Systems, 25(1), 145–162.

Douglas, A. and Mills, J.E. (2004). Staying afloat in the tropics: applying a structural equation model approach to evaluating national tourism organization websites in the Caribbean. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 17(2/3), 269–293

Evans, J.R. and King, V.E. (1999). Business-to-business marketing and the world-wide-web: planning, managing, and assessing websites. Industrial Marketing Management, 28(4), 343–358.

Feng, R., Morrison, A.M. and Ismail, J.A. (2003) East versus west: a comparison of online destination marketing in China and the USA Journal of Vacation Marketing, 10(1), 43–56.

Fletcher, P., Poon, A. Pearce, B. and Comber, P. (2002). Practical web traffic analysis: Standards, privacy, techniques, results Glasshaus, Acocks Green, Birmingham.

Himanshu and Jeannie (2015). Evaluation of Official Tourism Websites of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) using the Balanced Score-Card Approach, International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems, 8(2), 64-73.

Horng, J.S. and Tsai, C.T. (2010). Government websites for promoting East Asian culinary tourism: A cross-national analysis. Tourism Management, 31(1), 74-85.

International Labor Organization. (2011). Employment in the tourism industry to grow significantly. ILO Press Releases.

Kaplan, R. and Norton, D. (1992). The Balanced Scorecard-Measures that Drive Performance. Harvard Business Review, 70(January/February), 71-79.

Kivela, J. and Crotts, J.C. (2006). Tourism and gastronomy: Gastronomy's influence on how tourists experience a destination. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 30(3), 354-377.

Kline, S.F., Morrison, A.M., and John, A. (2004). Exploring Bed and Breakfast Websites: A Balanced Scorecard Approach. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing (Special Issue on E-Consumer Behaviour in Hospitality and Tourism), 17(2/3), 253-267.

Law, R., Qi, S. and Buhalis, D. (2010). Progress in tourism management: A review of website evaluation in tourism research. Tourism management, 31(3), 297-313.

MacKay, K. J., and Fesenmaier, D. R. (1997). Pictorial element of destination in image formation. Annals of Tourism research, 24(3), 537-565.

Morrison, A., Taylor, S., and Douglas, A. (2005). Website Evaluation in Tourism and Hospitality: The Art is not Yet Stated. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 17(2/3), 233-251.

Morrison, A., Taylor, S., Morrison, A.J. and Morrison, A.D., (1999). Marketing Small Hotels on the World Wide Web. Information Technology and Tourism, 2(2), 97-113.

Nysveen, H., and Lexhagen, M. (2001). Swedish and Norwegian tourism websites: The importance of reservation services and value-added services. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 1(1), 38-53.

Patton, S. (2002). Web metrics that matter. CIO Magazine. Available online at: www.cio.com/archive/111502/matter.html

Schmidt, J.B., and Spreng, R.A. (1996). A proposed model of external consumer information search. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 24(3), 246-256.

So, S. and Morrison, A.M. (2003). Destination Marketing Organizations’ Website Users and Nonusers: A Comparison of Actual Visits and Revisit intensions. Information Technology and Tourism, 6, 129-139.

Stern, J. (2002). Web metrics: Proven methods for measuring web site success Wiley Publishing, New York.

Stout, R. (1997) Web site stats: Tracking hits and analysing traffic. Osborne/McGraw-Hill, Berkeley.

UNWTO, UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2011 edition.

UNWTO, UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2013 edition.

UNWTO, UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2015 edition.

Weeks, P. and Crouch, I. (1999). Sites for sore eyes: an analysis of Australian tourism and hospitality web sites. Information Technology & Tourism, 2(3), 153-172.

Yeung, W.L. and Lu, M.T. (2004). Functional characteristics of commercial web sites: a longitudinal study in Hong Kong Information & Management, 41(3), 483–495.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.