Content, context and co-creation: digital challenges in destination branding with references to Portugal as a tourist destination

Eduardo Oliveira*, Emese Panyik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


Content generated by tourists, travellers, professional travel bloggers and travel journalists who post, comment and share information on social media channels is arguably the greatest digital challenge of destination branding today. The tourist-/traveller-generated content is likely to generate brand value if integrated into the destination branding strategy. There is, however, a lack of theoretical awareness and empirical research into the role of social media content in shaping destination brands. By taking Portugal as a case study, this exploratory research is aimed to show how content analysis can be used to identify and understand the way tourists and travellers perceive the country as a tourist destination. The application of this methodology on online material could contribute to a refined destination branding initiative for Portugal by integrating user-generated and travel experts content into the strategy. It applies textual content analysis by using qualitative data analysis software (i.e. ATLAS.ti 7.0), within an interpretative paradigm, on tourism-oriented online publications in which the tourism potential of Portugal has been discussed. The findings highlight the tourist/traveller as an opinion maker with access to a plethora of information communication technologies to act as co-creators of brands. Therefore, it is wise to engage them and strategically integrate the content they generate into the whole destination branding effort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-74
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Vacation Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2015


  • Co-creation
  • Content analysis
  • Destination branding
  • Digital challenge
  • Portugal
  • Tourism


Dive into the research topics of 'Content, context and co-creation: digital challenges in destination branding with references to Portugal as a tourist destination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this