The rise of new business models grounded on shared content and experience has made it necessary for tourism destinations to adopt appropriate tools for the construction and promotion of their identity starting from sociality, emotions, interaction and connectivity. Based on this premise, the primary hypothesis of this paper is that storytelling practices applied to tourist destinations represent a fundamental tool in the construction of a destination brand’s identity. This paper aims to study the key factors and co-narrative practices in the destination management processes of Matera. It is the Italian town that has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and European Capital of Culture (ECC) 2019. It constitutes an exceptional testimony of an ancient cave civilization. In our study a qualitative approach was adopted. 25 in-depth interviews with stakeholders were conducted and five main themes were identified in the content analysis of the results: image and storytelling, branding and communication, value co-creation through networks, digital communication, and sustainability, effects of tourism development and the ECC event. The research findings reveal important information. They could be useful for the Matera DMO to face with success the post ECC event phase and consolidate the gains in the medium-long term.
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