Stereotyped Vacation Marketing and Tourist Prejudices: An Analysis of Destination Image Formation
Tourism should mean meeting others and choosing a particular resort for a vacation should mean a positive evaluation of it . Actually, recent studies within the psychology of tourism have shown that some tourism experiences are affected by intergroup bias.
In these terms it is interesting the hypothesis concerning the so called cultural shock (Oberg, 1960; Pearce, 1981). Particularly when travelling in a group, tourists may be affected by cultural shock due to the fact of being more subject to ingroup-outgroup labeling which can result in poor communication, receiving unfriendly behaviour or even hostility. My study will analyse, in particular, the destination image formation, in other words, the attitude towards a resort as a whole, meant as a melting pot of environmental and social features, which leads to the destination choice.
The analysis of the destination image formation will be in the form of a study on Linguistic Intergroup Bias (LIB); in particular, the present study aims at validating the linguistic integroup bias (LIB) model within the context of tourism, meant as an ingroup-outgroup setting. The research consists of two different studies. In the first, a content analysis is provided on a corpus of data consisting of articles taken from two Italian magazines devoted to the promotion of tourism. In the second study, the LIB validation is refined by a qualitative investigation, conversation analysis, which underlines the relational and social nature of the LIB process and, more generally, of the destination choice. The second corpus of data is made up of 10 couple interview transcriptions focusing on some of the articles of the first study, in order to analyse the difference between instance-base stereotypes and abstract-based stereotypes. The results of both studies are partially consistent with the LIB model and suggest the hypothesis of a thematic priming of intergroup bias.
Keywords: Linguistic Intergroup Bias, Tourism, Destination Image Formation, Stereotypes
Prof. Michela Cortini
Full Researcher in Wand Organizational Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Bari