Rabu, 09 Februari 2011

Tugas Manajemen Pemasaran (Membahas Jurnal Internasional)


A SNAPSHOT IN TIME: THE MARKETING OF
CULTURE IN EUROPEAN UNION NTO WEB SITES
JOSEPH A. ISMAIL, THEODORE LABROPOULOS, JULINE E. MILLS, and ALASTAIR MORRISON
Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Cultural tourism is an important area of consumer demand in Europe, and one of the central foci of European Union (EU) activity. With the increase in the use of the World Wide Web as a tool for marketing tourism destinations, this study evaluates the extent to which EU member’s market culture through their National Tourism Organizations' (NTO) Web sites. To achieve a final ranking for EU member countries based on the extent to which culture is marketed, this study utilized the Balanced Scorecard approach, Kendal's Coefficient of Concordance, and Friedman's two-way Nonparametric Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The results showed Denmark as the country that makes the most effective use of culture in designing and marketing its NTO Web site.
Balanced scorecard         European Union                 Cultural tourism                  Marketing
World Wide Web (WWW)

A Web site is "entertainment, education, enrichment, and enjoyment. It contains art, music, museums and culture." ("The Significance of a Website" 2000)
In 1999, most discussions on the new millennium entered on speculations as to whether or not there would be a computer crisis. In Europe, however, the talk focused around the annual European City of culture Award and the designation of nine cultural capitals, instead of the award going to one city as 'as traditional. This high-profile award afforded the awardees, mostly members of the European Union (EU), an opportunity to showcase their culture, stimulate artistic exploration, inspire festivals, and increase tourism (Mattingly, 1999).
With the adoption of the Euro in January 1999 as the unit of common currency, EU members have focused on the creation of a national identity around one culture and one language (Quetgles, 1997). Adding to this argument, Sheehy (1997) reports that there is speculation that the EU wants to achieve the unity of all of its nations as one, both ethnically and culturally, by using the Internet. Given this back­ground, this article seeks first to determine the ex­tent to which the Internet can be used as a tool for marketing a country's cultural products. Second,
using the member states of the EU, this study evalu­ates the extent to which EU members market cul­ture using their National Tourism Organization (NTO) Web sites. Following on the second objec­tive, a comparison of the NTO Web sites of EU coun­tries for differences in technical qualities and mar­keting strategies using the Balanced Scorecard approach is also conducted (Morrison, Taylor, Morrison, & Morrison, 1999). Since all EU coun­tries are represented on the Web by NTO Web sites, this third approach of comparing the sites was adapted to determine if there were significant dif­ferences in the approach to marketing culture in the various countries.
Cultural Tourism and the Internet
For the past 28 years, the Internet has functioned as a collaboration among cooperating parties and has become the dominant force in the marketing and distribution of many products and services, with expected sales of $240 billion in 2001 (Abramson & Hollingshead, 1998; Cerf, 1993). In 1998, ap­proximately 1.5 million new Web pages appeared each day (Chen, 1999; "eGlobal Report:' 1999). This development of the Internet and its growth as a busi­ness tool has created new opportunities for market­ers to target consumers more precisely (Sivadas, GrewaL& Kellaris, 1998). Often referred to as "mi­cro marketing," the Internet has allowed for busi­nesses to more clearly define their markets based on interests and preferences. This is critically impor­tant, as the focus of control in electronic commerce has shifted from sellers to buyers, thus making it more difficult to influence consumers, although they may be easier to reach (Buhalis, 1998).
Tourism is one product that has definitely found its niche on the Internet. The number of U.S. travel­ers using the Internet for travel-related purposes in­creased by 141% from 29 million in 1996 to 70 mil­lion in 1998 (Travel Industry Association of America, 1999). The World Tourism Organization contends that the Internet is the ideal medium for promoting travel and tourism destinations and products. Tour­ism entities currently use the Internet for sales pro­motion, and distribution, while consumers are us­ing the Internet to search for information on travel destinations and products, and to consummate sales or deals (World Tourism Organization, 1999).
Though tourism and travel may be big business on the Internet, the niche marketing of specific tour­ism products is a relatively new topic. Cultural tour­ism on the Internet is one of these niche-marketing opportunities that requires more detailed analyses. As such, very little information exists regarding the evidence, impact, and promotion of cultural tour­ism using the Internet. With the growth in electronic commerce, the ability to market one's culture using the Internet is becoming more important. With over 1 billion international trips in 2000, and a large per­centage of holidays being planned online, the issue of marketing culture via the Internet and as a tool to improve e-commerce initiatives has become ex­tremely important.
A major problem in analyzing the marketing of cultural tourism online is the vast scope of mean­ings implied by the terms "culture" and "cultural tourism." Many researchers, notably Tomlinson (1991) and Richards (1996), have discussed the hun­dreds of definitions that exist for the term culture. Richards (1996) contends that the solution being proposed is not to seek an all-embracing definition, but to concentrate on the way in which the term is being used. Adapting this guideline for the purposes of this research, Silberberg's (1995) definition of cultural tourism is utilized. Silberberg defines cul­tural tourism as "visits by persons from outside the host community motivated wholly or in part by in­terest in the historical, artistic, scientific or lifestyle/ heritage offerings of a community, region, group or institution." Using this definition, marketing culture on the Internet in this initial analysis is being viewed as a product, allowing for a more objective analysis of Web site contents. Table 1 presents examples of the cultural tourism products as defined by Silberberg (1995).
Table 1
Examples of Cultural Tourism Products
Component
Generic Examples
Historic
Artistic
Scientific
Lifestyle
Heritage
Castles, historic museums, and historic villages/communities
Art galleries, performing arts venues and events
Industrial museums and tours, science centers
Food, entertainment, sports venues and events, laws/regulations
Traditions, customs
Benefits of Marketing Culture on the Internet
Consumers buy meanings and marketers commu­nicate meaning through products and advertise­ments. Many of these meanings are culture based (Cox, 1999). Nicovich and Cornwell (1998) con­tend that the Internet is an interactive mediator be­tween cultures, so much so that it may become the bridge between differing cultures. The Internet may play a key role in marketing culture, with the pack­aging of culture beginning well away from the cul­tural sites. Often, cultures are reduced to a two-di­mensional world through the use of glossy brochures (Robinson, 1999). However, with the Internet, pro­moters of cultural tourism now have the opportu­nity to use an interactive medium to depict and present their cultures to the world.
According to Business Times ("The Significance of a Website," 2000), Web sites, one of the most prominent aspects of the Internet, are not only sources of entertainment, education, enrichment, and enjoyment, but they also contain art, music, muse­ums, and culture. By using Web sites, culture can be depicted more realistically for potential tourists. For example, Web sites can show a streaming video of a native dance, give a short tour of a cultural attrac­tion such as a museum (often referred to as "virtual reality"), as well as introduce snippets of local music. In addition, promoters are able to provide Internet discussion groups, enabling potential tourists to become familiar with local customs, trends, and laws (Quelch & Klien, 1996). The Web, in es­sence, presents marketers with the opportunity to showcase the country's historical, artistic, scientific, lifestyle, and heritage offerings.
The e-commerce world views the Internet as the medium by which two traditional marketing modals are united: the mass marketing, unidirectional Information flow, and the bidirectional personal and relationship marketing providing faster responses to personal questions. This uniting of the two marketing gives cultural tourism an opportunity to realize greater success in communications. Not only can tourists "visit" cultural attractions through vir­tual reality, but they are also given the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback before actu­ally visiting the attractions. This translates into benefi­ts for destination marketers, as the ability to view form an opinion about a cultural attraction can increase the tourist's desire to visit the destination where it is located. Potential visitors are also given the opportunity to make better-informed decisions concerning their destination choices and what they would like to do upon arrival.
In developing cultural tourism products, packag­ing and promotion is crucial. Promotion increases tourists' motivation to participate in cultural activi­ties, while packaging increases the tourists' expo­sure to a culture. The Internet is a medium that is able to provide both promotion and packaging in one place, thereby creating the opportunity to de­sign superior cultural tourism products. In short, the Internet increases the destination marketer's ability to effectively promote and sell cultural tourism prod­ucts.
Silberberg (1995) states that the concept of pack­aging, partnership, and marketing to create cultural opportunities in one place or at one time is crucial to creating a cultural tourism destination. This au­thor also contends that the better the cultural prod­uct, the greater the likelihood that residents will spend money within a region or country. Cultural tourism plays an even more important role due to the ability of cultural tourism products to attract or increase the length of stay of long-haul tourists to a destination. In general, the Internet often outper­forms traditional media in return on investment (Loro, 1999). The increased return on investment may be attributed to the fact that the typical Internet user is generally categorized as influential, affluent, and highly educated, thus having a greater spending power (Kasavana, Knutson, & Polonowski, 1997). This matches well with the established profile of cultural tourists as comprising predominantly well- educated members of higher socioeconomic groups (Richards, 1996). However, it must be realized that Internet usage is becoming increasingly pervasive throughout all socioeconomic groups, especially in developed countries (Edmondson, 1997).
In addition to creating motivation or desire for cultural tourism products, the Internet also proVides easy access to the product. Parsons, Zeisser, and Waitman (1998) state that the Web offers a power­ful combination of two-way interactivity, seamless transactions. addressability, on-demand availability, and customization. In support of this argument, Gretzel, Yuan, and Fesenmaier (2000) contend that using these features leads to greater and more pro found relationships with visitors as well as creating greater personalization of tourism services.
Before the Internet, potential visitors to a desti­nation had to visit a travel agency, request informa­tion from the NTO, buy a guidebook, or visit a li­brary. With the Internet, the information on cultural activities and resources at a destination is more readily accessible. In fact, a wider market is created with the search engines, proliferation of banner ad­vertisements, reciprocal linking (where companies are connected to each other through hyperlinks), third-party promotions, and recommendations. In addition, users can accidentally be taken to a Web site. Table 2 gives an overview of the strengths of the Internet in comparison to the traditional media for marketing culture.
The Role of NTOs in Promoting Culture
In order to examine the extent to which EU mem­ber countries display culture, the Web sites of the NTOs were examined. NTOs were chosen, as they are the primary organizations marketing countries' tourism to other nations. In addition, all EU mem­bers maintain a NTO site. NTOs play a critical role in marketing a country's cultural tourism products, as the distribution of a country's promotional mate­rials to individual consumers is often carried out by NTOs. In previous research, Morrison, Braunlich, Kamarusidin, and Cai (1995) identified the common objectives of NTOs. These include increasing the availability of the tourist products through packag­ing, securing maximum promotional exposure, and playing a leadership role in the development of pro- motional materials and partnerships for the destina­tion. Braunlich, Morrison, and Feng (1995) stated that the official information disseminated by NTOs has a high degree of credibility with potential visi­tors to destinations.

Table 2
Strengths of the Internet for Marketing Culture Over Tradi­tional Media in Marketing Culture
Accessibility                                                Provides instant access for a wider market of potential visitors.
Interactivity                                                Ability to incorporate music, videos, chat, and discussion groups.
Cost savings                                                Cheaper to develop and update than other media.
Availability                          Potential consumers can access the information 24 hours a day.
Customization                   One Web site can be used for mass marketing of culture as well as providing information for a specific niche.
Timeliness                           Consumer inquiries can be responded to in a shorter time frame.

Traditionally, the role of NTOs has mainly been a passive one, with NTOs acting as "order-takers" and sending out literature about the country upon request. Over the years, this role has changed and many NTOs now play a dominant role in the marketing and devel­opment of the tourism products that countries pos­sess. To keep pace with the demands of potential visi­tors, many NTOs have offices in other countries. However, the distribution of literature to potential visi­tors continues to be a mainstay activity of NTOs (Morrison et al., 1995). NTOs are faced with the con­temporary challenge of ensuring that they not only have the resources for effectively marketing the des­tination, but that they also meet the needs of potential tourists in an increasingly time-sensitive manner.
The Internet may prove to be the ideal solution for many NTOs, as tourists requiring "real-time" information are no longer satisfied with requesting information and waiting on its arrival in the mail. Additionally, the Internet enables the NTO to pro­vide a higher degree of one-to-one marketing. Ac­cording to Gretzel et al. (2000), the Internet enables NTOs to blend publishing, real-time communica­tions, broadcast, and narrowcast, as it attracts atten­tion, creates a sense of community, and acts as a mass-market medium as well as personalized rela­tionship builder at the same time.
The European Union
In 1946, Winston Churchill called for the coun­tries in Europe to formulate a "kind of United States of Europe." Five years later this integration became a reality. The EU began with six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Neth­erlands. In 1973, 22 years later, Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom joined. It was to be an­other 9 years before Greece became a member in 1981, followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986, and Austria, Finland, and Sweden in 1995. The EU now has 15 members and is preparing to grow by adding countries from Eastern and Southern Europe.
The general goal of the EU is to promote eco­nomic and social progress, assert the identity of the
EU in the international marketplace, and to main­tain and build on established EU law. In addition to these general goals, the EU works to develop free­dom, justice, and security, as well as citizenship for the people of country members (The ABC of Euro­pean Union, 2000). The EU has a population of over 370 million people, speaking 11 official languages, and numerous dialects. The challenge of uniting such an ethnically and culturally diverse collection of nations into a union with a common set of goals, in spite of conflicting national agendas, is enormous (European Union, 1996).
The EU and Cultural Tourism
Tourism has grown into a huge economic phe­nomenon enjoyed by millions. According to the World Tourism Organization (2000), "some 664 million tourists worldwide traveled to foreign coun­tries, spending U.S. $455 billion in 1999, tourism worldwide is a $3 trillion industry." In general, the EU is the most dominant force in tourism, with tour­ism contributing 5.5% of the EU's GDP and account­ing for 6% of employment ("EC Assists Tourism," 1997). NTOs of the EU member countries play a vital role in ensuring that this dominance is main­tained.
Several studies have identified cultural tourism as an important area of tourist demand in Europe (Bywater, 1993; Thorburn, 1986). Since its incep­tion in 1951, the EU has maintained an interest in tourism and culture, but this focus on culture has been extremely controversial. Member states of the EU have been very reluctant to lose control over their .educational systems, since education is the main way in which the national culture, official language, his­tory, and geography of the country is passed on to younger generations. Some member states have ar­gued that EU directives and regulations can seriously impinge on national identities, cultures, and tradi­tions ("Sceptical?," 2000).
Richards (1996) details the long history of cultural tourism in Europe, spanning from the private 48th century art collections of royalty to the postmodernistic influences of the 1950s and 1960s, to the museum boom of the 1980s and 1990s. The EU is, indeed, a thriving ground for cultural attrac­tions and cultural tourism resources. Collectively, the EU has over 737 international, national, and regional main cultural attractions and resources (Irish Tourist Board, 1988), and Table 3 displays a count of the main cultural attractions and resources for each EU member.
Tourism in Europe is important because of the size of the industry and its social and economic im­pacts. The increased awareness of the economic importance of tourism, as well as its connection to cultural and natural heritage, led to the explicit rec­ognition in the Maastricht Treaty of the role of tour­ism for the Union. The first visible initiative under this Treaty was the declaration of 1990 as the "Eu­ropean Year of Tourism." In 1992, the "First Plan of Action in Favour of Tourism" was also launched (Ruzza, 2000).
Further recognizing the significance of cultural tourism, the EU developed the "Culture 2000" pro­gram to support the various cultures of EU mem­bers. Prior to the Culture 2000 program, EU mem­bers debated over the various ways in which culture should be promoted in Europe (Peck, 19965. With the Culture 2000 program, the EU wanted to strengthen cooperation between Europeans on a cultural level, while respecting and promoting the cultural diversity of its members. Under this pro­gram the EU has allocated approximately $167 mil­lion to 55 different projects, ranging from theater to exhibitions and heritage sites (Legrand, 2000).
Table 3
Inventory of Major Cultural Attractions and Resources by EU Members
Country
Total
Austria
Belgium
Britain
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Italy
Luxembourg
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
The Netherlands
Under 10
80
79
24
Under 10
94
117
16
23
216
Under 10
20
55
Under 10
13
Source: Irish Tourist Board (1988) data. Adapted from Richards (1996).
The EU and Internet Promotions
Given the recent emphasis placed on culture by the EU, it stands to reason that promotion of culture would become integral. The Internet has emerged as one of the mediums through which the EU is marketing culture. The EU is using the Internet as a marketing tool., as it performs the function of "gap bridging," enabling countries to be affiliated with each, other yet retain their individual identities. Ac­cording to Sheehy (1997), the EU launched its first Web site, "I'M Europe," in September 1994, and since then the number of EU institutions and coun­tries developing homepages has rapidly increased. Table 4 gives an overview of annual growth rates in Internet usage of EU member countries.
EU members have taken advantage of the World Wide Web's popularity as a source of tourism infor­mation by sponsoring their own NTO Web sites. This Web presence has created a new level of accessibil­iiy to these countries, enabling the promotion of products and services to a worldwide audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ("The Significance," 2000). In order for EU Web sites to be effective as marketing tools, these Web sites must be technically sound, effective in their marketing approaches, and must be customer friendly, catering to a wide range of cultures and needs. This study attempted to de­termine to what extent EU member NTOs have achieved this goal through their NTO Web sites.

Table 4
EU Growth on the Internet
Country
Number of Hosts (1999)
Hosts per 1000 People
Growth in
Hosts
(Annual
%)
Britain
1,901,812
38
48
Germany
1,702,486
20
42
The Netherlands
820,944
50
54
France
779,879
10
57
Italy
658,307
8
63
Finland
631,248
122
29
Sweden
594,627
68
46
Spain
415,641
10
59
Denmark
336,928
60
53
Belgium
320,840
30
73
Austria
274,173
27
60
Portugal
90,757
9
56
Greece
77,954
5
65
Ireland
59,681
16
36
Luxembourg
9,670
45
56

A host is a single machine on the Net. However, the definition of a host has changed in recent years due to virtual hosting, where a single machine acts like multiple systems (and has multiple domain names and IP addresses). Ideally, a virtual host will act and look exactly like a regular host. Both are counted equally in this analysis.
Source: Internet Software Consortium (www.isc.org)
The Balanced Scorecard Approach
To ascertain the extent to which EU members market their cultures, a content analysis of EU mem­ber NTO Web sites was carried out, with the data being collected in the first half of 2000. One of the research team members evaluated all the sites. To ensure the accuracy of the data collected, the other team members cross-checked the results.
The instrument used for this evaluation was de­veloped based on Morrison et al:s (1999) adapta­tion of Kaplan and Norton's (1996) Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach. The original BSC ap­proach was developed as a business performance measurement tool to overcome the dominant use of one-dimensional performance indicators, such as profit. The basic idea of this approach is that busi­ness performance is multidimensional and this needs to be reflected in measurement approaches. Thus, measurement must be conducted in a more "neutral or balanced" fashion, including summative measures such as finances and formative measures such as customer satisfaction (Kaplan & Norton, 1996, 2000).
Morrison et al. (1999) adapted the BSC approach to evaluate the design and maintenance of hotel Web sites. The authors' approach was to measure Web site performance across four balanced perspectives: technical, marketing, internal, and customer. They recognized that Web site performance is also a mul­tidimensional construct and, as such, performance has to be conceptualized and measured in a way that reflects a balancing of the dimensions identified as critical determinants in relation to the issue under consideration. In this case, the issue under consid­eration is NTO Web sites of the EU countries.
Morrison et al. applied their approach in an evalu­ation of a group of small hotels in Scotland. The authors operationalized the four Web site perfor­mance perspectives by first identifying a set of criti­cal success factors (CSFs) for each perspective. Measurements and scales were then developed for each CSF, and the hotel Web sites were evaluated through a content analysis. The authors concluded that their modified BSC approach was effective in differentiating the performance of the hotels' Web sites. However, they also acknowledged the diffi­culties experienced in measuring the "internal" per­spective.
To determine the marketing effectiveness of EU NTO Web sites based on culture, Morrison et al:s (1999) approach was amended from the four bal­anced perspectives of technical, marketing, internal, and customer perspectives to include more cultur­ally related items. The added items came from a re­view of literature' providing definitions of culture and the marketing of culture and cultural tourism (Jafari, 1992; Myerscough, 1988; Prentice, 1993; Richards, 1994; Silberberg, 1995; Smith, 1989; Storey, 1993). Thus, the modified BSC approach for this research consisted of the following four aspects: technical, site visitor relationship (user friendliness), marketing effectiveness, and cultural. A pictorial overview of the modified BSC approach is shown in Figure 1..

Technical Aspects
The evaluation of technical qualities was con­ducted using objective measures. Specific technical aspects were evaluated under four categories: Link Check, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) Check, Browser Compatibility, and Load Time. The Link check included the total number of links and the number of broken links found in each Web site. The HTML check evaluated how effectively "alt tags" were used and the number of HTML language errors. Browser Compatibility evaluated how the site appears using different versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer, the two most popular Internet browsers. The Load Time check evaluated how long the homepage took to load under several common modem speeds. The load times for all sites were checked on the same day during peak hours in the US so that load times were comparable and repre­sentative of peak time performance.
Figure 1. Balanced Scorecard (BSC) aspects.














 














These technical aspects identified by Morrison et al. (1999) are integral for Web site performance and are the most common technical aspects used for the evaluation of Web sites. Load time has been exam­ined in investigations on the impact of waiting times on consumer's retrospective evaluations of Web sites. The results show that waiting can negatively affect evaluations of Web sites by consumers (Dellaert & Kahn, 1999).
In order to arrive at an accurate evaluation of each Web site, Net Mechanic (www.netmechanic.com), an online service that rates the technical performance of Web sites, was employed. Net Mechanic uses a five-star rating approach to evaluate each Web site, based on the four previously stated criteria. Each site can receive a maximum score of 20 points. Net Mechanic contends that 46% of Internet users re­port that they have left Web sites because of site- related problems (personal communication, Decem­ber 18, 2000).
Site Visitor Relationship Aspects
Visitor relationship was evaluated based on four criteria: Ease of Navigation, Ease of Contact, At­tractiveness of Site, and General Availability of Travel and Tourism Links. These are very important considerations in Web site design, from the customer perspective. In support of the importance of site visi­tor relationships, Evans and Wurster (1999) believe that navigation is primary for reaching potential cus­tomers on the Internet. These authors contend that sites such as www.amazon.com, for example, are not booksellers but navigators, as they provide cus­tomers with reach, richness, and affiliation. Custom­ers, who find Web sites difficult to navigate, or ex­perience difficulty in getting quick and efficient electronic responses to inquiries, will click away to a competing site if they are not satisfied immedi­ately ("Design Matters," 2001).
Sites with font sizes that are too small (less than 12), fonts that are difficult to read, or graphics that load too slowly (more than 30 seconds) have diffi­culties in maintaining customers. The General Avail­ability of Travel and Tourism Links was included as the authors hypothesized that a tourism site should have general links to traditional customer informa­tion, such as a listing of hotels and accommodations, travel and tour agencies, restaurants, and embassies and consulates, as well as transportation informa­tion. Attractiveness of Site included factors such as clear and uncluttered pages, reinforcing text with pictures, effective background to match content, and the use of color based on the acceptability criteria stated by computer industry professionals (http:// buildencnet.corn/Graphics/Design/).
Evaluating Web sites can be an extremely subjec­tive task. In order to minimize potential subjectiv­ity, the EU NTO Web sites were not evaluated on a Likert scale as was used in the Morrison et al. (1999) BSC approach. Instead, 32 specific attributes were evaluated and assigned a yes (1) if present and a no (0)11 the attribute was not present.
Marketing Effectiveness Aspects
The marketing aspects were also evaluated in an objective manner, using the "yes/no" approach. Based on Morrison et al.'s (1999) marketing CSFs, the as­pects included were marketing research and market­ing segmentation. With respect to marketing research, ' data was obtained regarding whether EU NTO Web sites collected information on the visitor's country of origin, contact information through guestbook sign­ing, and whether or not the site had a statement en­couraging inquires. Marketing segmentation questions focused on whether the site was available in different versions based on country of origin, and was infor­mation provided specifically for business travelers, couples, honeymooners, families, children, and rec­reation activities.
Cultural Aspects
Cultural aspects of EU Web sites were evaluated based on whether or not the Web site had informa­tion on the country's history, traditions, and customs, laws that would impact visitors, visual and perform­ing arts, information on normal business hours, fa­mous people, places and events, historical buildings, sites, and attractions, among other variables. This evaluation also used the objective "yes/no" approach. The number of different languages available on each site was included in the evaluation, as well as whether each available language had its own unique site. The availability of pictures and graphics representing a country's culture was an additional aspect of the cultural evaluation.
In keeping with the overall intent of the BSC ap­proach, the technical results yielded by Net Mechanic and from the other three aspects (user friendliness, marketing, and culture) were weighted and then scaled so that each final score was a percentage, with the highest possible score being 100%. A general over­view and examples of the elements that were used to derive each aspect's score are shown in Table 5.
Statistical Analysis
Each Web site was ranked from 1 to 15 on each of the four aspects. Kendall's Coefficient of Con­cordance was then used to arrive at a final balanced ranking for each site. This approach is appropriate when the association among three or more vari­ables is to be analyzed. Given the fact that judg­ment decisions had to be made when analyzing Web sites, Kendall's Coefficient of Concordance ap­proach is also useful, as it examines interjudge re­liability (Churchill, 1991). The coefficient of con­cordance is calculated as:

Where , k is the four aspects, n is the 15 EU Web sites, and R is the Web site ranks. Using the BSC approach, the country with the low­est overall rank would represent the most highly ranked Web site. It must be noted that when there are more than seven observations, Kendall's Coef­ficient of Concordance is approximately chi-square distributed calculated as x2 = k(n – 1)W. A signifi­cant x2 suggests that there is agreement between the rankings of the four aspects across the EU NTO Web sites, allowing for a more objective estimate as to which Web sites are doing a good job of marketing culture and which Web sites have opportu­nities for improvement.
Table 5
EU Web site Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Aspects
Aspects
Factors Examined
Technical

(Site visitor relationship
(32 minis tested)










"Marketing effectiveness
(12 items tested)





Cultural
(15 items tested)
Net mechanic test
Link check; HTML check; Browser compatibility; Load time
Ease of navigation
Example of items tested: Navigation menu, index, or site map. availability of FAQ
Ease of contact (clearly available)
Example of items tested: Direct email contact, mailing address, telephone number & fax; Were email responses
prompt (2-day response period given)
Attractiveness of site
Example of items tested: Clear and uncluttered pages, color used to improve visual appeal
Availability of general travel and tourism links
Example of items tested: Links to shopping. attractions. embassies. and consulates
Marketing research
Example of items tested: Tracking visitor country; Gathering contact information; Statement encouraging inquiries
Market segmentation
Example of items tested: Different version of site based on country of origin: Information for specific groups
Language
English language availability: Site available in four or more languages
Information availability
History of the country, traditions. and customs: Normal business hours: Famous people, places. or events: Historical buildings, sites. or attractions: The environment and nature; Professional sports and participating sporting activities; National holidays, festivals, and events
Availability of picture and graphics representing the country's culture

Results
Balanced Scorecard
The results of the BSC approach to evaluating the NTO Web sites of European Union members are shown in Table 6. From the results it can be seen that Denmark received the best overall ranking, fol­' lowed by Spain. then Finland and Holland tied for third place. A screen capture showing Denmark's Web page is shown in Figure 2.
Portugal and Greece received the lowest overall rating. Denmark, Spain, and Belgium had the most (technically sound Web sites, with France and Ger­many having some browser compatibility and load time problems. Spain was ranked as the Web site that was most user friendly, while Holland and Aus­tria conducted the most marketing research and marketed the most to different segments. Holland did the best job of representing cultural aspects on their site, followed closely by Ireland and Denmark. Holland, Ireland, and Denmark all offered more than 10 different languages, with Holland offering sites specially designed for each language.
Kendall's Coeffcient
The calculated value for Kendall's coefficient of concordance was W = 0.45. This value, though not perfect, is significant and confirmed that Denmark was the best country in using culture in the design and marketing of its Web site. In order to determine if there was some level of agreement, or interjudgment reliability among the rankings across all Web sites, a comparison of chi-square versus criti­cal chi-square was performed. As 15 Web sites were evaluated, IV = 0.45 is approximately chi-square dis­tributed with 14 degrees of freedom. Assuming an alpha value of 0.05, the critical chi-square value was calculated at x° = 25.36. With the chi-square value exceeding the critical chi-square, the conclusion can be drawn that agreement existed among the four rankings.
To support the above analysis, and determine if the numerous ties in rankings had any effect, Friedman's two-way nonparametric ANOVA was also employed using the SAS statistical analysis soft­ware package. Friedman's two-way nonparametric ANOVA is often used to compare data generated from two or more related samples. When conduct­ing this analysis, the PROC RANK procedure in SAS
must first be used to assign an average ranking where ties occur in the EU data set. In this analysis, after creating an average for tied values, the treatment used was the score assigned, and the blocking variables were each of the four aspects rankings (Technical, Site Visitor Relationship, Marketing Effectiveness, and Cultural). Table 6 shows the results of the analy­sis as well as the overall average of the four aspect rankings. The pertinent chi-square statistic, calcu­lated to determine if there was significant agreement among the rankings, was 26.83. This chi-square sta­tistic was calculated as [121(N x N —1)] x SST, where N was the number of treatments, and SST was the sum of squares treatment produced by the ANOVA (SAS, 1999).
The results of the Friedman's analysis confirmed the earlier findings, although some of the rankings changed slightly. Specifically, when using average rankings, the last four countries swapped places in the total ranking. Thus, Portugal had the lowest av­erage rank, followed by France with the second low­est rank. Greece also moved up two spots from the origina1,13SC results. The scores for each of the four aspects are presented in Table 7 along with the rankings. The letters in the right-hand column give an indication of where significant differences in av­erages exist. These rankings are nonparametric in nature, and the differences expressed by the letters are based on the t-test results from the ANOVA, which assume a normal distribution of the depen­dent variable.
Table 6
Balanced Scorecard Results for European Union Countries NTO Web Site Evaluation
Country
Web Address
Technical Ranking
Site Visitor Relationship Ranking
Market:rig Ranking
Cultural Ranking
Total
Denmark
1
5
2
3
11
Spain
1
1
5
7
14
Finland

3
3
6
15
Holland
5
8
I
I
15
Britain
5
4
4
5
18
Ireland
4
10
2
2
18
Luxemburg
www.oritiu

4
6
8
20
Austria

12
1
4
23
Belgium
www.toervtbe
1
7
8
11
27
Italy
6
2
10
9
27
Sweden
6
6
7
12
31
France
7
11
11
10
39
Germany

13
9
9
39
Portugal
6
9
12
14
41
Greece
www.gmoncom/infoxenios

14
12
13
42

Correlation analysis was then performed to as­sess the relationship between the four balanced scorecard aspects. All correlation coefficients were positive and statistically significant, but ranged from low to high in magnitude. The results showed that culture was the most significant contributor at 0.91 (p < 0.0001), followed by marketing at -0.90 (p < 0.0001), to the overall ranking. Correlation was high between culture and marketing at 0.89 (p < 0.0001), and also between technical aspects and friendliness at 0.49 (p < 0.0609). Correlation among the other aspects was low.
Initial Screen


Second Page
Figure 2. Screen captures of Denmark—most culturally aware Web site: Initial screen and second page.
Figure 3. Screen Captures of spain-second most culturally aware web sites
Discussion
From the analysis it was evident that EU coun­tries are maintaining their individualism despite the push for more cultural unification. EU members are choosing to promote their own cultures and identi­ties through their NTO Web sites, although some are doing so more aggressively and effectively than others. The results also show that EU member coun­tries do market their culture, with Denmark doing the best job of promoting its own culture, as well as marketing to various cultural groupings. Technical qualities and marketing strategies also differ widely among EU member Web sites, and this may be due to the fact that Internet marketing for NTOs is still relatively new.
In comparing the results of this analysis with the amount of major cultural attractions and resources possessed by the various countries (Table 3), it was found that countries with high numbers of cultural attractions and resources did not necessarily use the NTO Web site to effectively promote them. Italy, with the highest total of 216 major cultural attrac­tions and resources, and Germany with 117, did not market their cultures very effectively through their NTO Web sites. Italy placed 10th in the over­all results, while Germany placed 13th. France and Belgium, with 94 (third) and 80 (fourth) signifi­cant cultural attractions respectively, placed 10th and 1 1 th, respectively, in the cultural aspect rankings.
Table 7
Friedman's Analysis of Web Site Rankings
Country            Cultural
                            Score
                        Site Visitor
Cultural               Relationship
Rank                Score
Site Visitor
Relationship Rank
Marketing
Effectiveness
Score
Marketing
Effectiveness
Rank
Technical
Score
Technical Rank
Average Rank
Means with Same Letter May Not Be Significantly Different
Denmark            0.84
3               0.90
6
0.90
3.5
1.00
2
3.625
A
Spain                   0.62
7               1.00
1
0.50
9
1.00
2
4.750
A
Finland                0.65
6               0.93
3
0.80
5
0.89
6
5.000
A
Holland        1.00
1               0.74
9
1.00
1.5
0.83
8.5
5.000
A
Britain                 0.75
5              0.91
4.5
0.70
6
0.83
8.5
6.000
B A
Ireland                0.89
2               0.67
11.5
0.90
3.5
0.84
7
6.000
B A
Luxemburg   0.58
9              0.91
4.5
0.50
9
0.94
4
6.625
B A C
Austria                0.77
4                       0.65
13.5
1.00
1.5
0.78
11
7.500
BDAC
Belgium       0.31
12                                          0.81
8
0.50
9
1.00
2
7.750
BDAC
Italy                                         0.58
9               0.99
2
0.40
12.5
0.78
I I
8.625
B D A C
Sweden               0.30
13                                          0.82
7
0.50
9
0.78
13
10.500
B DC
Germany            0.58
9              0.65
13.5
0.50
9
0.61
15
11.625
D C
Greece                0.25
14                                          0.58
15
0.20
14.5
0.89
5
12.125
D
France                0.32
II                     0.67
11.5
0.40
12.5
0.72
14
12.250
D
Portugal             0.21
15                                          0.72
10
0.20
14.5
0.78
11
12.625
D
ANOVA Model: df = 17, F  2.35, p = 0.0124, It' =
0.48.







In another comparison with Internet growth by EU countries (Table 4), it was noted that a high num­ber of hosts or machines linked to the Internet, as well as a relatively steady increase in annual growth, did not affect the marketing of culture. Britain (first) and Germany (second) are the two EU countries most highly connected to the Internet. Britain and Ger­ many ranked 4th and 13th, respectively, with regards to cultural marketing on their NTO Web sites. These findings support the position of marketing experts that the Internet has "leveled the playing field" among competitive organizations, allowing anyone to become a dominant force regardless of the high growth levels in technical ad vancements I I1CC, 2001).
In examining the correlation results, where the technical and site visitor relationship aspects were highly correlated, it must be noted that these results are quite realistic. Technically sound Web sites have faster downloads, and have easy-to-navigate com­ponents, which make them more user friendly. Mar­keting and culture were also expected to be highly correlated, since some of the elements present in marketing are necessary for promoting cultural tour­ism products (e.g., market segmentation).
Bonn, Furr, and Susskind (1998) found that Internet marketing is well suited for tourism-related products and services. While there is an abundance of literature on designing Web sites and the critical role that an effective Web site plays, very little re­search has been conducted evaluating tourism Web 'sites. In particular, discussions on cultural tourism in an Internet context are very limited. Future re-Searchers might consider replicating this analysis and comparing the results with those obtained in this study.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Previous research indicates that there is a strong relationship between marketing culture and business performance (Appiah-Adu, Fyall,& Satyendra­Singh, 1999). EU countries can capitalize on the marketing of culture by using their NTO Web sites. Reisinger and Turner (1998) contend that it is im­portant to understand and cater to the cultural dif­ferences of tourists, as this leads to positive tourist- host contact, which in turn enhances tourists' holiday satisfaction and repeat visitation.
In this research, the effective use of culture in marketing the NTO sites is a driving force in the overall effectiveness of the site, as measured by the BSC approach. As such, every effort should be made to depict the culture and traditions of the host na­tion. The site design should be based on the mission of the site and the overall goal or objective of the NTO. Examples of such a mission may be to make the "feel" of the site as close as possible to the ac­tual country, giving visitors a preview of what their visit to the country will be like. On the other hand, non visitors can also receive a realistic portrayal and sensory appeal of the country from visiting the site. It must be emphasized that much of the technical aspects are "motherhood traits" that should be con­formed to by all sites engaged in the marketing of tourism destinations. Load time, ease of navigation, and overall site maintenance must be continually addressed by NTOs. Some suggestions on incorpo­rating culture in NTO Web sites include the use of local music, traditional greetings, as well as pictures of traditional foods, events, and costumes.
McIntosh (1999) has found that there is a "per­sonal, emotive and symbolic context associated with cultural tourism encounters, from which visitors derive valued insight, appreciation and meaning of life." If this process begins for potential tourists through visits to the NTO Web site before they actu­ally visit a European destination, then the real expe­rience should be much more meaningful. Nuryanti (1996) also "states that modern tourism is now best understood in the context of the commodification of the process and contemporary consumer culture." What better way is there to market culture, then, than to seize the opportunities presented by the Interact?
The Internet presents an exciting new medium for marketing .European culture and cultural tourism attractions. As a medium of communication, it is potentially superior to the previous methods of pro­moting cultural tourism. The unique qualities of the World Wide Web include its ability to provide cus­tomized information for individuals with different interests (e.g., differing cultural activities), interactivity, and speed and potential frequency of updating information. However, the evidence pre­sented in this research study suggests that European NTOs are not fully capitalizing on the Web's unique advantages in cultural tourism marketing. As with other types of destination marketing organizations, several Web sites are better characterized as elec­tronic brochures rather than interactive and custom­ized information and marketing tools. Future ver­sions of European Web sites need to address cultural tourism, not only as a set of important physical sites and events, but as a motivation for travel and as an activity that appeals to a distinct market segment or segments. Furthermore, the Web provides great po­tential for neighboring countries to create new online cultural tourism partnerships by linking related cul­tural attractions and activities. Given the preponder­ance of important cultural sites and attractions within Europe, it is crucial that NTOs and their local part­ners quickly develop greater mastery of the new world of digital marketing.
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