Italy’s tourist image in the United States

Sara Bricchi

Student thesis: Master thesis


Nowadays the management of countries’ images (with the aim of developing strong and positive perceptions) is an important tool that governments have to sustain the competitiveness of their nation. One of the most important channels through which these images are formed is tourism. The study, which analyzes what is the current tourist image possessed by Italy in the United States Firstly an analysis of the major American upscale tourist magazines is carried out, in order to understand which is the current reputation of the nation in the field, as well as to identify which are the aspects of the Italian tourist offer more relevant for the US’ citizens. It emerges that the nation is known and appreciated, even if several are the stereotypes associated to its perception, the most important of which is the picture of Italy as the country of “la dolce vita”, an exotic retreat where to flee everyday problems. Throughout the study is developed a continuous comparison to France and Spain, the two historical competitors on that market; they are employed as benchmarks to assess Italy’s and ENIT’s competitiveness. As a matter of fact, the second part of the analysis is dedicated to the review of the activities performed to enhance the nation’s reputation by the local offices of the Italian tourist board and, in particular, by the New York’s one. From the comparison with review of the practices carried out by Maison de la France and Turespaña emerges how the Italian agency does not fully exploit the potentialities on which it could count, probably also due to the limited funds at disposal, and how space for improvement still exists. Therefore, the discussion parts is focused on highlighting, through the instrument of the SWOT analysis, the strengths and weaknesses of ENIT’s promotional strategy; also the positive aspects of the competitors’ work are considered, all in order to formulate some concrete guidelines to improve the effectiveness of the Italian tourist board’s activity in the United States (and, with that, in the long run the image and the reputation of the country).

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages134