Importancia de las relaciones con los públicos en la reputación en un destino turístico inteligente. Propuesta de un modelo sostenible / Importance of public relations for the reputation in a Smart Tourist Destination. A proposal of a sustainable model

Carlos de las Heras-Pedrosa, Carmen Jambrino-Maldonado, Patricia Iglesias-Sánchez, Jairo Lugo-Ocando


Los destinos turísticos han experimentado cambios importantes en la última década como resultado de los avances en las Tecnologías de la Comunicación y la Información. Surgen así los destinos turísticos inteligentes que facilitan la interacción y la integración entre turistas y los ciudadanos facilitándoles una experiencia de calidad y sostenible para el destino.

Como elemento innovador se propone en esta investigación la reputación como herramienta clave en la gestión de la competitividad de un destino turístico inteligente. Un método cualitativo aplicado a informantes claves de España y Reino Unido ha permitido elaborar un “modelo de evaluación de la reputación del destino” que incluye como factores: Brand Image Management, calidad de servicios, calidad de la experiencia y los sentimientos e Internet Service System for Tourist. Los resultados son útiles para responsables del diseño de políticas públicas, empresas turísticas y la comunidad universitaria.

Palabras claves: Relaciones Públicas, Reputación, Destinos turísticos inteligentes, Comunicación, Turismo


Tourism destinations have experienced important changes in the last decade as a result of innovations in information and communication technologies and the democratization of information by means of social media. Social networks, blogs and mobile social media have developed peer-to-peer communication and an ever more engaged and credible audience.

At the end of the 20th Century destinations were studied in a radically different way, as all research was based on quality of service (QoS). Some destinations were gradually starting to consider brand value and the importance of managing it and were starting to include it in their research. There was a transition from spectacular images of never-ending solitary beaches, breathtaking waterfalls and towering skyscrapers to sensations and emotions. It was important for the destination to touch senses and reach heart. Tourists are looking for emotions and sensations. From then on, all communication has been based on sensations related to experiencing the destination. Social communication media such as Web 2.0 and social networks open up new ground for the Smart Tourism Destination, so that the tourists can be connected to the cloud, to the Internet of Things and to what has become the Internet Service System for Tourists (ISST). This allows tourists to create and sharing their own experiences.

Users have an active role; they are now co-creators, co-communicators and recommendators of tourist experiences. Smart Tourism Destinations (STD) makes all processes symmetric and represents the end of unidirectionality. Communication with tourists through the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes total, fast, horizontal and real-time. Tourists can create their own experiences and this requires total digital support from the destination. These experiences are shared instantly with friends and relatives who are not there by social networks. This sharing experience gives the destination a notoriety that was inconceivable until now. Social media, specifically, emerged as the primary mechanism used by travellers when sharing their experiences.

Previous researches show that destinations which present a positive and solid image to the potential tourist and, particularly, to their stakeholders, have greater chances of being chosen. This is because tourists choose their destination based on its reputation, rather than on real or objective information about it. It can be concluded that the image and brand place, which is part of reputation, is an extremely valuable concept when trying to understand the election process of a tourism destination. Smart tourism destinations favour tourist interaction and integration with the environment, thus providing a quality experience.

The specific objectives of our study will be: a) to determine stakeholders and assess public relations actions through them to enhance the experiences and feelings of tourists as communicative elements and drivers of tourist destinations; b) to develop a sustainable model of intelligent tourist destinations interpreting the aspects of a quadruple innovation helix framework.

As an innovative element, this research proposes that reputation become a key tool for the generation of value in the management of the competitiveness of an intelligent tourist destination. The research revealed the three elements of reputation: emotional attraction to services, emotional attraction to the tourism destination and sense of belonging based on corporate culture. Thus, the findings of this study identify specific reputation factors that can be used in Smart Tourism Destinations (STD): Business Image Management (BIM), Quality of Service (QoS), Internet Service System for Tourists (ISST) based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Quality of Experience (QoE).

The results are useful for Destination Management Organizations (DMO) in charge of formulating public policies, local tourism-related businesses, travel intermediaries and the host community. Likewise, it is a tool for diagnosing the success of public relations programs.

Keywords: Public Relation, Reputation, Smart Tourism Destinations, Comunicación, Tourism



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