Are myths and legends used in tourism communication as a resource? : the case of Algarve online brochures
PublisherUniversidad de Huelva
AbstractTourist destinations are in search of differentiation in order to improve their attractiveness. According to the literature, myths and legends can play an important role as a tourism resource and, therefore, institutional communication should pay more attention to them. Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal and it is the country’s most popular tourism destination. “Sun and beach” are its main tourist products. Literature on tourism suggests that local myths and legends can add value to a region’s core product, differentiating it from competitors. However, few empirical studies have examined to what extent traditional coastal destinations have used those resources to assign themes to their touristic products. This paper aims to analyse the online brochures from the official tourism office in the Algarve with the purpose of evaluating the use of myths and legends in its communication. This mythological dimension can be used as a branding marketing tool as much as it differentiates this coastal mass tourism destination, makes it more appealing and contributes to the development of new tourism products. Based on the literature recommendations we argue that myths are critical elements in designing tourist experiences within tourism destinations. They are a valuable asset upon which decision makers should develop a coherent place branding and a set of tourism products conveying a unique and meaningful narrative. We have used N vivo to do frequency tables and word cloud analyses of the Algarve’s institutional communication as a preliminary analysis and for validation of our findings. The findings show that myths and legends were not used in the place communication put across by tourism authorities in the locations examined.
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