Business & Management
This Swiss-made MOOC takes you on a terrific journey into eTourism and online communication. You will feel the pulse of ICTs and enjoy the beauty of Switzerland as a globally renowned tourism destination. Time to travel! « In the context of the Coronavirus crisis, this MOOC is accessible in the modality « open archive », without supervision / assistance. No new paid exams and free completion certificates are currently planned. All data/info have been updated in 2016»

Course Details

Language English
Duration 8 chapters
Effort 1 hrs/chapter

An introduction course to a fascinating travel into the eTourism world, which crosses both space and time, and is always closely connected with communication. In fact, we are embarking to create a great study experience, which explores how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) do matter for tourism – both for our personal experience, and for the tourism industry at large. In other words, we will together explore eTourism by using tools and models of the Communication Sciences.

Key concepts and theories covered include: Online Communication Model (OCM); Roman Jakobson's Communication Model; Quality of online contents; User Generated Content (UGC); Web 2.0; Reputation in online Media; Intercultural communication and localisation; eLearning; Argumentation; World Heritage Sites.

We expect the following people to be attracted by the course in order to update their skills and knowledge on a very hot topic:

Students, in particular within tourism and hospitality programs
Academia and researchers
Destination managers
People active in the tourism industry
Policy makers

What you will learn

By the end of the course, learners:

Know current eTourism applications, technologies and practices
Know what is communication, and its major components, ICTs and their relevance to the tourism field
Know what kinds of online training courses can be used within tourism and hospitality
Know how to map different communication activities within the tourism sector
Know how to run a usability test and how to make usages analysis of a website or mobile app
Know how to plan, run and evaluate eTourism related activities, especially when it comes to the analysis of online reputation of a tourism destination
Are aware of the crucial role played by communication and ICTs within the tourism and hospitality sectors


No prerequisite knowledge necessary to understand the concepts and experiences shared in the course.


Course structure

Chapter 1. Communication: an introduction to its nature and history

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Theoretical part: The etymology of communication and its major components
Case study: UNESCO World Heritage Sites and eTourism
Chapter 2. The Online Communication Model (OCM) and the quality of online contents

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Theoretical part: The Online Communication Model
Case study: Analysis of the content quality in online communication
Chapter 3. Usability analysis and web analytics

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Theoretical part: Usability and usages analysis of tourism websites, mobile apps and other online communication tools
Case study: Strategies to assess usability
Chapter 4. Localisation of online content

Instructor: Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni
Assistant: Emanuele Mele
Theoretical part: Cultural translation / localization of messages for people with different cultural backgrounds and experiences
Case study: Localized website for domestic and international visitors. Case of Quito (Ecuador)
Chapter 5. B2B activities and eLearning within the hospitality and tourism domain

Instructor: Dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska
Theoretical part: The notion of eLearning and its use in the hospitality and tourism field
Case study: eLearning courses about Destination Management Organizations. Case of “Ticino Switzerland Travel Specialist” online course
Chapter 6. User Generated Contents (UGCs) & Web 2.0

Instructors: Dr. Silvia de Ascaniis; Dr. Elena Marchiori
Theoretical part: Communication opportunities given by UGCs and Web 2.0
Case study: Hotels’ communication strategies to respond to online reviews
Chapter 7. Reputation in online media

Instructor: Dr. Elena Marchiori
Theoretical part: The definition of the reputation construct and its relevance in the online domain
Case study: How to analyze the online reputation of a tourist destination
Chapter 8. Argumentation in online travel reviews

Instructor: Dr. Silvia de Ascaniis
Assistant: Jingjing Lin
Theoretical part: Definition of argumentation
Case study: Argumentative analysis of Online Travel Reviews of a Chinese National Park

Course instructors

Lorenzo Cantoni

Lorenzo Cantoni graduated in Philosophy and holds a PhD in Education and Linguistics and is professor at USI - Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano - Switzerland), Faculty of Communication Sciences, where he served as Dean of the Faculty in the acad…

Nadzeya Kalbaska

Nadzeya Kalbaska, PhD, post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI, University of Lugano, Switzerland). She serves IFITT-International Federation for IT and Travel and Touri…

Elena Marchiori

Dr. Elena Marchiori is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at USI – Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland), Faculty of Communication Sciences. She holds an M.Sc. in Media Management and a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences. She is the ex…

Silvia Matilde De Ascaniis

Silvia is a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI - Lugano, Switzerland). She is the Executive Director of the doctoral school Cross-Field (, and coo…

Università della Svizzera italiana

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is one of the 12 certified public universities in Switzerland and member of swissuniversities. It is organised in six faculties and is active in several study and research areas, among which: architecture, communic…

12 instructors