Emerging Scholar Profile- Dr. Emanuele Mele


  • Emanuele Mele USI – Università della Svizzera italiana


My interest in research and teaching started during the Bachelor in Rome (Italy), where I studied Foreign Languages and Cultures. After obtaining the degree, pursuing my passion for academia, I moved to Lugano, Switzerland, where I completed a 2-year Master in Economics and Communication, Major in International Tourism at USI – Università della Svizzera italiana.

A few months after finishing the Master, I started a PhD in Communication Sciences at the same university, focusing on cultural differences in tourism marketing and communication. During the studies, I received an 18-month SNSF Doc.Mobility grant, which allowed me to complete my PhD research as well as expand my knowledge in quantitative methods at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

Currently, I am a Lecturer in Digital Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism at the International University of Languages and Media (IULM), in Milan (Italy), and an External Research Associate at the UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites (at USI). My research interests are in online marketing and communication, social media, and cultural tourism. In this regard, I am currently working on a study on crisis communication and social media in tourism.

My PhD dissertation analyzed the role and effectiveness of cultural adaptation (localization) in online tourism promotion. Taking a mixed-methods approach to investigate the topic of localization, the cumulative thesis was composed of five studies. In short, Study 1 (Mele & Cantoni, 2018) provided a “helicopter view” of the definitions of localization, examples and discussion on possible limitations. Study 2 (Mele, Kerkhof, & Cantoni, 2021) used a manual and an automated content analysis to explore whether official (cultural) tourism promotion on Instagram differed, from a cultural perspective, across four National Tourism Organizations (NTOs). Using interviews, Study 3 (Mele & Cantoni, 2017) investigated the viewpoints of experts, from 11 Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), on the role of localization activities for tourism marketing. Study 4 (Mele, Kerkhof, & Cantoni, 2020) tested via two highly powered experiments the effects of localizing cultural values (e.g., Collectivist vs Individualist cues) on participants’ perceived image and willingness to visit a heritage site. Finally, Study 5 (Mele & Lobinger, 2018) – consisting of a semiotic analysis of tourism pictures – was used as basis to build the framework for the content analysis of Study 2 and to elaborate the experimental manipulations of Study 4.

Findings of the PhD dissertation showed that, overall, (cultural) tourism promotion on Instagram differed across NTOs, from a cultural perspective; DMOs considered localization as an important set of practices to market a destination to an international audience; localizing cultural values – which is one type of localization – had limited benefits (at best) for publics from the same geographical region of the destination (e.g., Europe).

 Besides research, I have taught courses in tourism, (social media) marketing analytics, and online communication to university (Bachelor and Master level) as well as hospitality school students. I have also taught web/mobile marketing and e-commerce to professionals, including the definition of business strategies, audience segmentation and performance measurement. Following my passion for teaching, I have also been Teaching Assistant for two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on e-Tourism and Tourism Management.

In parallel, I have been an active member of the International Federation for IT, Travel and Tourism (IFITT) since 2015. I started as Coordinator of Volunteers at the annual IFITT event, ENTER2015, served as Online Communication Officer for 1 year (2016-17) and then as General Secretary (2017-18). It was (and it still is) a fantastic experience that allowed me to meet many great, inspiring researchers. Other activities include my research collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites, whose Chair Holder is prof. Lorenzo Cantoni (at USI), and my passion for data analysis and machine learning using Python – with libraries like Pandas and Scikit-learn.

With the conclusion of my PhD in October 2020, I have moved to Geneva (Switzerland), with my wife Laura, where I am currently looking for a research and / or teaching position in a university in the Francophone region of Switzerland. Apart from this, I am always open to teaching and research collaborations on topics concerning online communication and marketing.






Emerging Scholar Profiles

How to Cite

“Emerging Scholar Profile- Dr. Emanuele Mele” (2022) e-Review of Tourism Research, 18(5), pp. 798–800. Available at: https://ertr-ojs-tamu.tdl.org/ertr/article/view/825 (Accessed: 13 July 2024).