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Online communication plays a vital role in tourist image formation and travel choices in the digital era. In this way, institutional communication performs a central role in tourism, influencing the market through text and keywords choice on websites. This study aims to analyse online communication by focusing on tourism discourse, i.e. English language as a specialised and promotional discourse in tourism, with a special emphasis on Dann’s rhetorical strategy of keywords. The present study explores the communication used in UNESCO websites and its contribution to tourist destination image formation through corpus-based Discourse Analysis. The focus on a selected number of Sicilian and Maltese UNESCO websites highlights the differences in online communication and the potential influence on tourist image formation. A combined methodological approach, both qualitative and quantitative, is adopted. Specifically, the Corpus Linguistics approach is utilised to extract quantitative data; a qualitative analysis is derived from the data interpreted from a linguistic perspective. The data emphasise that the two sub-corpora of UNESCO Sicilian and Maltese websites communicate different destination images. Findings can contribute to a further reflection on tourism discourse used for institutional communication, to influence the tourist impact on UNESCO sites and potentially influence destination image formation and consumer purchase behaviour.



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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