MCiT Lecturer Aleksander Groth and MCiT Master Alumna Adriana Wacker, BA MA, used the social network "Instagram" to investigate the extent to which the projected destination image of Tyrol coincides with the image perceived by tourists and presented their results at the ENTER Conference 2020 in Surrey, UK. It is well known that our Alpine tourism destinations are defined to a large extent by their visual destination image. In social networks, this perceived image depends very much on user generated content (UGC), which cannot be fully controlled and managed by destination marketing organisations (DMOs). Potential tourists nowadays prefer to inform themselves about destinations online, as UGCs are an unbiased information resource and reflect the tourist experience well. Thus, DMOs on Instagram focus mainly on visual content, with the goal of shaping perception, attitudes and travel behavior. A check for a match between this projected image and the actual perceived image is therefore of particular interest.
The results of the study show that while the projected image mainly focuses on nature & landscape, people, plants, architecture & buildings and the traditional life of the inhabitants, tourists are mainly interested in capturing nature, vegetation, leisure activities and domesticated animals. Tradition and the life of the inhabitants hardly have an impact. Likewise, architecture and culinary arts seem to be of less interest.