Destination Websites for Persuasiveness

Andreas Zins, Marsha Loda

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Purpose – This research is intended to help tourism marketers maximize the persuasiveness of their websites toward the objective of increasing visitation to their destination.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper describes a two-part research project: 1) a content analysis of websites to determine the most frequently used elements and 2) an experiment wherein respondents view one of ten randomly assigned websites and complete a survey about the credibility, message strength, and persuasiveness of that site.
Findings – Results support the importance of message credibility to message strength, and that both may impact on change of propensity to visit a destination. It also points out new information about website elements. While more organic website elements such as testimonials and web cams are expected to affect the most change, they do not. Rather, information on fundamental elements such as accommodations and attractions has the most effect on message credibility, and on respondents’ change in propensity to visit a destination.
Originality/value –Substantial differences exist in the persuasiveness of various tourism websites. Website elements concerning basic information seem to induce the most positive changes. Therefore, funds and energy to develop and maintain novel website elements such as web cams, guest books, message boards and e-cards may not be worth the effort when it comes to increasing visitation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502020 Market research
  • 502040 Tourism research
  • 502019 Marketing

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