Marketing Destinations with Prolonged Negative Images: Towards a Theoretical Model

While there is a great deal of research on destination branding in general, the study of tourism marketing that deals specifically with destinations suffering from prolonged image problems is less well developed. We integrated theories from crisis communication, image restoration and destination marketing to examine media strategies used by such destinations to attract tourism, and then classified them. We utilized qualitative content analysis of tourism campaigns for destinations – primarily in problematic areas such as the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe – that appeared in international tourism magazines, destinations’ websites and video-sharing websites. We classified two approaches of media strategies: the ‘cosmetic approach’, relating to strategies that focus mainly on altering the destination’s image and the ‘strategic approach’, relating to strategies that take comprehensive action, changing both the negative image and the problems causing it.

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