Title: Rural tourism lodgings' websites: a comparative study among Mediterranean countries

Authors: Vasiliki Vrana, Kostas Zafiropoulos

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Technological Education Institute of Serres, Terma Magnesias, 62124 Serres, Greece. ' Department of International and European Studies, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Egnatia 156, 54006, Greece

Abstract: Internet is viewed as a cost-effective, flexible way of doing business. Websites can enable rural tourism lodgings to access markets quickly and to become international. The objective of the study is to quantitatively analyse the websites of rural tourism lodgings in terms of interactivity, navigation and functionality (site design characteristics) as well as site marketing practices on the internet. The study also investigates variations of websites in design and use of marketing elements among Mediterranean countries in Europe. The paper concludes that rural tourism lodgings do not take full advantage of the emerging marketing opportunities in the global marketspace.

Keywords: rural lodgings; websites; functionality; navigation; interactivity; marketing; Mediterranean; rural tourism; internet.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2009.023275

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2009 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.89 - 106

Published online: 16 Feb 2009 *

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