Auditing Marketing and the Use of Social Media at Ski Resorts
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Ski-resort managementSki-resort marketingMountain tourism
Martínez, T. L., Toledo, L. D., & Faraoni, N. (2019). Auditing Marketing and the Use of Social Media at Ski Resorts. Sustainability, 11(10), 1-24.
Mountain and snow tourism are sectors of immense social and economic importance that are developed in an especially sensitive environmental context. A large part of this tourism is channeled through ski resorts. The literature on comparative studies of ski-resort management and, in particular, on marketing management, is limited. This study contributes knowledge on the application of marketing practiced at ski resorts. For the first time, an audit of marketing at ski resorts is performed through a quantitative survey at resorts in two countries (Spain and Italy). The importance–performance analysis (IPA) is used, which identifies both the strong and the weak points and the great deficits of marketing management at ski resorts from the perspective of their directors, to whom the questionnaire was addressed. The social media usage of the ski-stations is also analyzed, identifying different typologies of resorts in accordance with their performance against 11 indicators from Twitter and 15 from Facebook. Knowing the opinion of the visitors, the online and competitive strategy, and adapting to the legislative changes are the aspects to which the directors attach greater importance. The greatest deficits were linked to employee motivation and communication (internal and non-integrated). There are minor differences in Twitter and Facebook indicators between Spanish and Italian ski resorts. The turnover results of the ski resorts present more correlation with Facebook indicators than with Twitter ones. This analysis provides recommendations and implications for the management of ski resorts in the six dimensions of marketing under consideration. It, likewise, offers knowledge of the social-media-related behavior of resorts that are leaders on both Twitter and Facebook, for benchmarking purposes.