Opinions

Expo2015 and its impact on the country and the visitors

How Italian reputation abroad improved during and after the event

Expo2015 and its impact on the country and the visitors

Claudia Astarita

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In order to get a realistic picture of Expo 2015 and its impact, a detailed sentiment analysis on the media was conducted by the institute www.web-research.it.

In particular, it is a semantic, semiotic, heuristic and psychometric study on a sample of 3.7 million of opinions posted in several European languages (i.e. Italian, English, Spanish, German and French). The monitoring activity covered the 60 days before Expo 2015 opening and the third and fourth month after. Furthermore, in order to grasp "common people" perspectives, the researchers have carefully avoided official press and institutional websites.

Comments written by Italians definitely stood out for a number of reasons. Firstly, they outnumbered the others written in different languages, representing 76,37% of the total. Secondly, they were extremely critical towards the universal exposition. Polemic tones and criticisms were the rule, whereas only 21% of Italian comments were positive. Nevertheless, this gloomy trend was diverted after the conclusion of the event. In fact, positive opinions grew reaching 44%, whereas negative ones decreased to 22%.

At the same time, foreigners seem to enjoy the event. The interest for Expo 2015 grew significantly, reaching its peak between July and August with 79,26% of comments. The most popular topics in conversations related to Expo2015 concerned "Travel in Italy", "Made in Italy", "Italian Art Cities" and "Milan as a Fashion City". Furthermore, foreign opinions on the universal exposition were mostly positive (53%), having only 5% of negative ones. After the end of Expo 2015, positive comments continued growing (63%), seeing negative ones as almost irrelevant (3%).

In general, as highlighted by Gian Marco Stefanini - President of www.web-research.it - the figures show that "9 Expo visitors out of 10 have expressed positive comments of the event". Furthermore, from this study it emerges that Italian reputation abroad has undoubtedly improved, along with a significant promotion of Made in Italy in all its expressions.

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