Visual Representations of Puerto Rico in Destination Marketing Materials
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In the last thirty years, a large number of studies have researched the destination image that visitors, travel industry representatives, students, and general consumers have of tourist destinations. However, few studies have analyzed the perceptions that local residents have of their own countries as tourist destinations. Local residents can provide valuable information about their countries as tourism destinations and can help tourism marketers determine how to represent local culture in more authentic and sustainable ways. Local residents can also provide valuable information about how to improve tourism development based on their experiences living in the area. Residents can further provide information and services to visitors and are themselves an integral part of tourism at a destination. This study focused on understanding how destination marketing portrays the people and places of a destination and how residents perceive the visuals used in destination marketing and promotion. Using a visual qualitative approach, the study analyzed the images of recent promotional campaigns employed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. The study then interviewed Puerto Rican residents regarding their attitudes toward tourism development in general and toward the specific imagery used in the campaigns. Overall, residents had rather positive opinions of tourism in Puerto Rico. They also had largely positive attitudes toward the visual imagery used to market the destination. However, they felt the portrayal was incomplete and did not reflect the modern way of Puerto Rican daily life.
Davila Rodriguez, Mary Ann (2011). Visual Representations of Puerto Rico in Destination Marketing Materials. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from