This study highlights the preferences and motivations of tourists for the choice of destinations to visit. Natural, cultural, gastronomic attractions, places of consumption, and identity/immaterial motivations are examined through social network analysis and validated through the multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). The study explores the relational variables that can explain the attractiveness of the places and the propensity to visit them. To identify the visitor profiles and the reasons behind their choices, a sample survey was carried out in Lipari, in the Aeolian Islands, interviewing tourists, residents, and people present on the island for work reasons. From the results obtained, profiles emerged with very different characteristics. They vary among those who are attentive to the identity and sustainability of the territory and appreciate the beauty of the sea to others who are attracted mainly for places of consumption and gastronomy, and finally, to people who are indifferent to the attractiveness of the place. This study contributes to the knowledge of the tourist understanding of fragile places with a strong tourist attraction and provides indications for better use of the resources present, oriented towards eco-sustainable hospitality systems and the environment. The study discusses the implications of its findings for future research and provides insights for planning tourism services.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited