The Impact of Web 2.0 on the Website Use of Small Italian Hotels




website, web 2.0, small hotels, digital marketing, marketing communication, Italy


Purpose: The digital revolution is causing profound transformations, characterised by how companies and customers approach the market, helping to significantly transform the tourism sector. Traditionally, the Internet was used to search for timetables, find information and compare prices, or book basic tourist products. Today, thanks to Web 2.0, people can create their own trips by following the advice and examples of other users on the Net who have shared the contents of their tour and expressed opinions on their own travel experience. The study aims to investigate how small accommodation enterprises use their website for marketing following the development of Web 2.0, which differs from the initial concept of the Internet because it departs from the classic static websites.

Study design/methodology/approach: After the analysis of the literature, which relates to the relationship that has gradually developed over the years between small businesses in the tourism sector and the use of the Internet for marketing purposes, it was decided to carry out an empirical survey on a sample of websites of small Italian hotels. The research hypothesis is that website adoption is conditioned by the marketing communication of the tourist experience that favours interactive tools. Sixty websites of micro-enterprises with less than thirty rooms were analysed, revealing an important use of social media for marketing communication.

Findings: The research results show that small hotel enterprises present a limited use of the website, limited to the web presence, while the customer relationship is managed through social networks.

Originality/value: This work is believed to provide useful ideas for starting a more substantial study activity in the field of small accommodation to understand the reasons behind the low use of the website.