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The paper analyses Romania’s destination image communicated in international tourism promotion campaigns, through seventeen TV commercials. The authors analyzed and compared the main destination attributes and the holistic country image communicated in each campaign. The results highlight the way national tourism promotion strategies position Romania within the international travel market.
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Section Economics and Tourism
Lecturer Dr. Oana Mihaela Stoleriu
Dr. Bogdan-Constantin Ibanescu
University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Iaşi, Romania
The paper analyses Romania’s destination image communicated in international tourism
promotion campaigns, through seventeen TV commercials. The authors analyzed and
compared the main destination attributes and the holistic country image communicated
in each campaign. The results highlight the way national tourism promotion strategies
position Romania within the international travel market.
Keywords: destination image, TV commercials, tourism promotion, heritage.
There is a rich scientific literature confirming the role of destination image in the
shaping of tourist expectations, decisions and behavior. Built by multiple actors and
information sources, country image is a major instrument for destination promotion and
management. This paper analyses Romania’s country image communicated through
international tourism promotion campaigns developed in the post-communist period.
Given the increasing global tourism market segmentation, the growing demand for
authentic, unique travel experiences, as well as the self-exotisation and postcolonial
discourses often used in country marketing in order to attract visitors from developed
states, our study was aimed to identify the Romanian tourism authorities’ perspective
regarding the key national heritage selected and promoted in order to position Romania
within the global tourism market. As the main communication tools in the promotion
campaigns were video commercials broadcasted on major international TV chains, the
paper analyzes and compares the attribute-based and holistic country image projected in
each campaign. The study continues previous researches on this topic [13], adding a
new perspective, new data (eight new commercials) and new indicators that highlight
better the main components of tourist experience and holistic destination features.
Destination image is defined as the overall impression of a place [2], built on a mix of
various destination attributes. Multiple factors contribute to the complex process of
destination image formation: first, an organic image is shaped by passively acquired
information from media, school, word-of-mouth, etc.; this is further modified by the
projected image(s) built by destination managers through tourism marketing, and it is
finally re-evaluated through personal experience [1][2][3]. Along this process,
television and advertising have a key role in the construction of the pre-visit destination
image [10]: they project images that build motivations, behavior and iconic destinations.
There are very few studies on Romania’s country image projected through tourism
promotion. Most of them approached Romania in the context of the post-communist
SGEM 2015 International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts
Central and Eastern European nations’ branding, underlining their common effort to
project “Euro conform” identities, aimed to support their economic and political
transition and to avoid stereotyped associations with communism, poverty or barbaric,
mythical lands [7] [8] [14] [11]. Their marketing narratives were mainly adapted to
what Western visitors would find appealing and recognizable [8] [13], which explains
the frequent self-colonization or self-exotisation discourses [7], like the capitalization of
the imported Dracula myth or the commodification of national symbols. The result is
usually a dichotomous country image, presented as a bridge between past and present,
between an exotic East and a civilized West [8] [13]. Similar marketing strategies also
addressing the gaze of visitors from developed (western) countries were observed in the
Third World states, where the use of a colonial discourse reinforced stereotyped images
that largely reproduce the same few myths: of Unchanged, Unrestrained or Uncivilized
territories [4]. As for Romania, three international promotion campaigns were
developed by national tourism authorities after 1989, all targeting mainly the Western
European and American visitors, and closely linked to Romania’s integration into the
European Union and NATO [13]. They were: Romania, simply surprising- RSS
(2003-2006), with 5 TV commercials (a general spot and four themed ones: nature,
history, seaside and Bucharest) aired on Euronews, Eurosport, Discovery, CNN and
BBC; ”Romania - Land of choice” RLC (2009), with two TV commercials (a teaser
and a general one), aired on CNN and Eurosport [11]; and “Explore the Carpathian
garden” ECG (2009-2015), with three TV commercials (a general one, a nature and a
cultural-themed one) aired on CNN, Euronews and Eurosport, between 2011-2012,
followed by other eight spots (adventure, authenticity, rural tourism, circuits, city
breaks, nature, culture and a second general spot), produced between 2013-2015 [9].
The image communicated through TV commercials was intended to position Romania
as an international destination, in relation with the main tourism market trends. Or,
many researches have emphasized the development in the last decades of a new
(postmodern) tourist behavior, characterized by the search for complex and authentic,
unique experiences [12]. This generated an increasing market segmentation and a
growing demand for: cultural tourism (art, music, film, ethnic tourism etc.), nature-
based tourism (ecotourism, wildlife tourism) and other self-fulfilling travel experiences
(food/wine tourism, romantic/family vacations, spiritual travels, wellness etc.) [12].
Recent surveys on the European citizens travel motivations [5] confirmed the high
weight of sun/sea attractions (46 %), followed by visiting friends and relatives (34 %),
nature (30 %), culture (25 %), city trips (23 %), wellness/health (13 %), sports (14 %) or
specific events (clubbing included). At global level, holidays, recreation and leisure
represent about 52 % of international travel motivations, business about 14 %, and 27 %
- visiting friends and relatives, religion, health and other [6].
Data was gathered from eighteen TV commercials, produced in three tourism
campaigns: five from RSS, two from RLC and 11 from ECG. In tourism marketing,
images are selected and organized according to an underlying theme and cultural
meaning [10], in order to influence tourist decisions. We used content analysis and
categorization, a method assumed to better capture the unique and holistic destination
features [3]. The basic unit of analysis was the shot: a sequence of frames captured from
a single camera operation [10]. Shots were identified manually and coded using a
Section Economics and Tourism
coding scheme developed from Echtner and Ritchie [3]s tridimensional model of place
image formation, in order to identify Romania’s functional and psychological features,
its attribute-based and holistic image, as well as the main tourist destinations promoted
in the campaigns. Depending on the text, the visible elements and their highlighting
(size, positioning), the same shot can communicate multiple attributes that all contribute
to the holistic image: e.g. a shot illustrating friendly hosts, traditional gastronomy and a
mountain landscape. Therefore content analysis was used to extract multiple destination
features from all the shots. Where present, the text (spoken or written) was used in the
coding. We synthesized and compared the holistic image for each campaign because it
reflects the complete image projected by tourism authorities and their perception of
what is important and suited to be promoted abroad, in relation with the global market
dynamics. Frequencies (percentage of the number of appearances in the campaign
spots), duration (percentage of the duration of appearances) and a Framing Index (FI)
were calculated to determine the weight given to destinations and various image
attributes, such as: natural resources, general infrastructure, tourist infrastructure, tourist
attractions (heritage), in-place (visitors’ or hosts’) activities and social environment
(hosts’ attitude, interactions with tourists). The framing index of an attribute is the
product of its frequency and duration within a campaign spots, divided by the maximum
attributes value per each campaign, and all further transformed into a scale from 0 to
100 (the old maximum attribute value per campaign becomes 100) [10]. In order to
seize the holistic features, we summarized elements of natural environment and place
atmosphere from all the shots, and calculated their framing index. A method limitation
was the difficulty to identify all the places where the frames were shot; they were
assigned to a more general destination, e.g. mountains, rural, seaside or delta.
The TV commercials emphasize the major Romanian tourist destinations: the
Carpathian Mountains, the seaside, the Danube Delta, and three old historical and
ethnographical regions - Northern Moldavia, Maramures and Transylvania. Thirty-nine
localities (Figure 1) were identified in the commercials. They are mainly concentrated
within or near the Carpathians, especially in the Southern Carpathians and Transylvania
(areas closer to Bucharest and concentrating well-known tourist resorts and diverse
attractions). The number of destinations and attractions, as well as their spatial
distribution evolved significantly in ECG, when more themed-commercials were
produced, and in close relation with the international tourism market segmentation and
the increasing demand for authenticity and uniqueness. This explains the highlight of
new destinations with unique cultural heritage, such as: villages with authentic
traditions and/or UNESCO heritage sites (churches of Maramures and Southern
Transylvania, a Dacian fortress), destinations for city-breaks (Sibiu, Iasi, Cluj,
Sighisoara), health tourism (Baile Felix, Tusnad, Turda), or for sports, nature and
sun/sea lovers. There is a special spot for authenticity-seekers in ECG, with a strong
focus on natural authenticity (mountains), rural life (gastronomy), and the Maramures
region in particular. The highest weight (framing index) across all the campaigns
belongs to the destinations with unique cultural and natural attractions: e.g. Bucharest
and Sibiu (Romania’s administrative capital and the European Cultural capital in 2007)
clearly outnumber other big cities; UNESCO heritage sites (including the Danube Delta,
promoted in all the campaigns); health and mountain sports resorts, strongly emphasized
SGEM 2015 International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts
in ECG. Only a UNESCO monastery (Sucevita) and Bucharest appear in all the
campaigns, and other four destinations appear in two campaigns (Sibiu, another
UNESCO-labeled church, a seaside resort and the Hunyad Castle from Hunedoara).
Figure 1. Weight of the places promoted in international tourism promotion campaigns.
The TV commercials highlight various national attractions, natural and anthropic: e.g.
fauna, vegetation, relief, river gorges and waterfalls, many churches, several city
centers, castles/fortresses, one museum, a marina, a cemetery etc. According to the
selected attractions, each campaign emphasizes better a different type of heritage. For
example, in RSS there is a stronger focus on the cultural attractions reflecting the Past
(about 53 % of the attractions are old buildings, historic sites, traditions, legends etc.)
and well-preserved nature (20 %), in opposition with about 27 % attractions associated
with modern life (nightclubs, sports, seaside resorts). In RLC, the diversity of Past-
related cultural attractions decreased (37 %), in favor of the natural ones (30 %) and
modern leisure (33 %). In ECG, present attractions (37 %) and living traditions (34 %)
are further diversified, strongly outnumbering the natural ones (only 12 % of the main
attractions are natural). Sometimes multiple and diverse features are associated with the
same destination (e.g. various attractions for Bucharest) or different cultural meanings
are highlighted for the same attraction, depending on the image composition and text:
e.g. the architectural (UNESCO heritage) or spiritual value (priests preying, the word
“mystical”) for a monastery.
The attribute-based and synthetic destination images reveal better the differences
between the heritage and holistic country image communicated in each campaign -
Figures 2 and 3. In RSS, the general atmosphere is about discovering unique, well-
preserved cultural and natural landscapes, as indicated by the weighting of tourist
attractions (architecture and art and natural environment have the highest framing
Section Economics and Tourism
indexes - 100 and 68.6; legends and myths - 5.9; traditional life 43.8; delta - 9.8) and
infrastructures (old plane, traditional boat). But, apart traveling in the past, the tourist
experience is rather limited to observing and walking, or to indulging in modern,
sun/sea activities (e.g. sunbathing, volley or surfing). Interactions with locals are not
clearly emphasized. There are only some public spaces where both tourists and hosts
could be present: beach, nightclubs and streets. The tourist is rather an outside observer,
while locals are friendly (smiling, inviting) or simple, demure people living a traditional
(fisherman, nuns) or urban life.
Figure 2. Weight of image attributes: framing index (IF, bold), frequency (F), duration
(D), underlined: top 3 values per campaign; italic: maximum value in all the campaigns.
The Seaside and Danube Delta are the most prominent attributes depicting the overall
Natural Environment. They have the highest framing indexes from all the campaigns
and they are reinforced by tourist infrastructures (modern seaside resorts, with
umbrellas, hotels and a gondola), general infrastructure (the transport mean in the Delta
- the boat), tourist activities (linked to the sun/sea theme) and attractions (the
fisherman’s traditional life). Overall, the selection and weight of destination attributes
largely reproduce the Myth of an Unchanged territory [4], where symbols of an
impressive, legendary Past (architecture, medieval knights, traditional costumes and
SGEM 2015 International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts
life) and well-preserved, peaceful natural landscapes (from the Danube Delta or the
Carpathians) are opposed to the Present facilities and activities (mainly linked to sun/sea
tourism). The scarce written text only underlines the main categories of attractions
corresponding to the spots themes: e.g. monasteries, history, legends, Danube Delta,
Figure 3. Synthesis of the destination image components in the three campaigns (italic -
maximum value in all the campaigns; bold - highest values per campaign).
The RLC campaign is very focused on features underlining the Social Environment: the
hosts’ attitude (100) and activities (99.2). Romania is promoted through built and
natural attractions, intended to appeal to the sun/sea, sports, clubbing and nature lovers:
seaside resorts, nightclubs and parks, the Danube Delta, with birds, luxuriant vegetation
and wild horses, or the Carpathians, better weighted compared to RSS. The tourists’ and
hosts’ activities reinforce this image: people sunbathing or playing on the beach,
clubbing or chasing birds in the Delta. Local hosts are friendly, romantic, relaxed and
fun, indulging in modern leisure activities, or simple people, living a traditional rural
life (shepherd, fisherman or priest). A mocking of strange/exotic external stereotypes
associated to Romania appears in the teaser spot (e.g. people riding zebras in
Bucharest), then contradicted in the explanatory spot, which underlines the Romanians’
welcoming, reliable nature. Again, there is no clear interaction illustrated between
tourists and hosts, only some public spaces: clubs and beach. The overall feeling of the
campaign is that of indulgence in a natural and built paradise, appealing and
confortable, and largely corresponding to the Myth of the Unrestrained [4]. The
commercials text is brief and focused on emphasizing a positive and attractive side of
Romania (hence the three famous sportsmen speakers), meant to contradict external
negative labels: this is Romania” is repeated several times.
As expected given the campaign name, ECG is strongly emphasizing the natural
resources, especially the mountains (achieving their highest framing index - 32.8). Still,
Section Economics and Tourism
the main focus is on Tourists (FI =100), overrepresented in the commercials characters
and for the first time illustrated interacting with the hosts. Tourists are involved in
various experiences that largely correspond to the present travel market segmentation
[12][5]: health/wellness, nightlife, city-breaks, eating/drinking, experimenting rural life,
backpacking, practicing (extreme) sports, etc. They explore diverse environments (wild
nature, vibrant cities, churches or traditional villages), in various seasons, as opposed to
the other campaigns illustrating only summer activities; they use both modern and
traditional infrastructures. This time, residents are mostly represented as pleasant and
available to assist, entertain or serve their visitors. They cook and serve meals, give spa
treatments, dance etc. The hosts are also presented as keepers of authentic traditions and
life, but this time shared with visitors. Traditions reach the highest weight in ECG
(70.7) and they are illustrated through: gastronomy, crafts (pottery, wood craft),
costumes and rural occupations (shepherd). Legends have the lowest presence in ECG,
only indirectly reminded through images of a Halloween party in a modern nightclub.
The Natural Environment is mostly mountainous, suggesting a frontier territory with
pristine nature, yet comfortable and safe. Therefore the general atmosphere is rather of
indulgence into complex, embodied experiences of authenticity, both cultural and
natural. Thus, the myth of the Unrestrained (with self-indulging, multisensory tourist
activities, and pleasant/helpful hosts) is further developed, in association with traits of a
frontier territory [4], with distinctive ethnic features (e.g. traditional costumes or
occupations) and well-preserved nature. The verbal messages (mainly spoken in the
2011-2012 spots and only written in the 2013-2015 ones) underline the general
atmosphere (e.g. authentic, welcoming, unique, healthy, rich tasting etc.) or
name the main attractions (sailing, traditions well-keptetc.). Superlatives are used
to evoke unique destination features, either functional or psychological: e.g. “the second
largest administrative building in the world”, “cultural capitals” etc.
The paper highlights new information confirming the similarities between Romania’s
destination image communicated in the post-communist tourism promotion campaigns
and the stereotyped images reproduced by other countries aiming to attract visitors from
developed states. The first campaign strongly illustrates the myth of the Unchanged,
opposing iconic relics of a glorious, legendary past to modern, sun/sea or urban-themed
activities. The weight of the past decreases in the second campaign, mainly aimed to
emphasize a modern and appealing Romania, worth to be considered a European Union
member and an attractive tourist destination for Western visitors; hence the overall
image of a safe natural paradise, where visitors can find warm hosts and indulge in
various activities. The last campaign further reinforces the myth of the Unrestrained,
presenting Romania as a country with pristine nature, where visitors can immerse
themselves into complex, multisensory experiences, in diverse natural and social
environments. The campaigns share a constant concern for external expectations and
stereotypes; hence the insertion of Dracula’s myth in RSS, of Halloween parties in
ECG, or the effort to counterbalance negative external perceptions with the “real” side
of Romania, in RLC. There is also an increasing adaptation to the global tourism trends:
if in RSS, a selection of iconic national heritage is browsed in front of the visitors’ eyes,
in ECG, the image is mostly built from the outside (demand) to inside (national
heritage), visible in the offer segmentation, the focus on tourists, on unique attractions
(hence the decrease of the seaside weight) and authenticity, both cultural and natural.
SGEM 2015 International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts
This research was supported by the strategic grant POSDRU/159/1.5/S/133391, Project
Doctoral and Post-doctoral programs of excellence for highly qualified human
resources training for research in the field of Life sciences, Environment and Earth
Science” cofinanced by the European Social Fund within the Sectorial Operational
Program Human Resources Development 2007 2013.
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... Since the fall of the communist dictatorship and the consequent democratic transition, the regime has focused its tourist offer in four main points (11): Bucharest (promotion of nightlife and cultural relations); Transylvania (connection between nature and historical background); Black Sea Coast (mixture of gastronomy and beach); Bukovina and Maramures monasteries (religious and architectural background). Through campaigns focusing on nation branding, Romania has tried to build a new image of itself, distancing from the communist framework which they intend to move away from (12,13). ...
... Our research was focused on the following themes: tourism, politics and ideology, through its theoretical implication in the world (10,18,19,20); the modern history of Romania, so as to understand its inherent nationalism and political background (3,4,6); the concept of 'Communist Heritage' and its application in Romania, in order to better comprehend the communist regime's cultural legacy in the country (8,21); the history of communist tourism in the Romanian post-communist age, so as to understand its phases and influence on the 21st century Romania (5,14); comparing the communist tourism in Hungary, in order to formulate different approaches to a similar ideological background (1,21,22); types of tourism inherited from the communist age, constituting a better knowledge of what was offered in the socialist period and in present times (7,9); nation branding strategies in current Romania, so as to comprehend the drifting from the communist past to other mediums of tourism offering (12,13). ...
... After the fall of Ceaușescu's regime, Romania wanted to set itself apart from its communist past by restructuring its image, trying to attract tourists through specific efforts designed to show the country's best (11). Three campaigns were developed (broadcasted on the Internet or foreign television networks such as CNN) with the intent to display new cultural narratives (13). To do so, nation branding strategies intended to reinvent Romania abroad were resorted to. ...
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Communist ideologies and political regimes have had their specific models of tourism. These models reflect on the way former communist countries view tourism today. Despite the long communist period, Romania refuses to accept Communism as an integral part of its historical culture and society, being perceived as a dark period of its history. Several campaigns which were broadcasted as a way to show the cultural and natural beauty of the country, promote rural tourism and the ancient Romanian History, eluding themes and subjects related with that recent past. Even though there has been a growing touristic interest in Romania’s communist heritage, the country’s strategies express the difficulty in accepting Communism as part of the Romanian cultural identity and history. Thus, what communication strategies does Romania use to promote its culture, in order to avoid its communist heritage? What are the reasons behind the country’s vehement silence about its past? This article aims to discuss how and why the country and its population promote specific tourist products as a way to avoid their communist legacy.
... After 2000, the development of Romanian tourism was supported by the country's efforts to increase its international awareness by launching three international tourism promotion campaigns [31,32]. New market segments and experiential products have been developed in the last decade, with a strong growth of rural tourism (based on cultural Sustainability 2021, 13, 67 6 of 23 authenticity), city-breaks, business tourism and active tourism. ...
... As an emerging tourism destination, Romania has attracted the interest of scholars. A study on the image projected by video spots from tourism promotion campaigns [32] showed a slow development of the core tourism destinations and products individualized in the communist period, namely: mountain tourism in the Carpathians, health resorts and the Black Sea seaside [99], followed by the capital city Bucharest, the Danube Delta and several iconic religious and historical attractions (e.g., UNESCO heritage churches, [100]). Other studies used content analysis to address the online information [34,38], visitor reviews [37] and Western bloggers' images [101] about the famous Dracula myth, its associated experiences and iconic destinations. ...
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This work examines the projected image of Romania as an emerging tourism destination. Computed content-analysis was applied to the photos, text and video materials promoted online in Romania’s last international tourism campaign. The conceptual framework used corresponds to intrinsic values (play, aesthetics, ethics and spirituality), from Holbrook’s typology of value. Being more difficult to apprehend and therefore studied less, intrinsic values allow a more sophisticated approach to value creation. The purpose here is to identify the main attributes that are promoted about Romania by destination marketing organizations. The content analysis of text (last international promotion campaign Explore the Carpathian Garden) and visual data (27 photos from the official Facebook webpage and 7 TV videos) allow to depict an experiential view of Romania’s image: natural resources (coded as aesthetics with 29% of references), epistemic value of discovery (play 25.8%), authentic and historical traditions (ethics 25.8%) and wellness and therapeutic activities (spirituality, 19.3%). Destination marketing organizations have the potential to develop some distinctive aspects such as authenticity (as an ethical value dimension) and play (as an active, self-oriented value). Findings also highlight that a complimentary approach using textual and visual data might be a suitable option to research destination brand image.
... They also facilitate the recalling of destinations and motivate future travels [12]. Previous studies on destination image have analyzed pictures from postcards, travel brochures and magazines [12] [13], blogs and websites [6] [8] [10], tourism promotion videos [14] or user generated photos [9] [11]. Pictures were used to compare country images (13), different actors and marketing tools for the same destination [7] [10] or to study patterns of the tourist gaze [9]. ...
... As regards DD, there is a large gap of tourism research: previous studies have focused on ecological and managerial aspects, not on visitor experiences, representations or behaviour. However, a previous paper on Romania's destination image [14] showed that emblematic images of DD (with birds and wild natural landscapes) appeared in all the international tourism promotion campaigns. Moreover, DD was the sole focus of naturethemed promotional spots in two of these campaigns ("Romania simply surprising" and "Explore the Carpathian Garden") and promoted as an iconic destination for nature lovers and authenticity. ...
... Each photo was considered a single unit of content. Following previous studies on destination image [3], [2], [14], a coding scheme was developed and adapted to our destination. The study followed several steps. ...
... They also facilitate the recalling of destinations and motivate future travels [12]. Previous studies on destination image have analyzed pictures from postcards, travel brochures and magazines [12] [13], blogs and websites [6] [8] [10], tourism promotion videos [14] or user generated photos [9] [11]. Pictures were used to compare country images (13), different actors and marketing tools for the same destination [7] [10] or to study patterns of the tourist gaze [9]. ...
... As regards DD, there is a large gap of tourism research: previous studies have focused on ecological and managerial aspects, not on visitor experiences , representations or behaviour. However, a previous paper on Romania's destination image [14] showed that emblematic images of DD (with birds and wild natural landscapes) appeared in all the international tourism promotion campaigns. Moreover, DD was the sole focus of naturethemed promotional spots in two of these campaigns ("Romania simply surprising" and "Explore the Carpathian Garden") and promoted as an iconic destination for nature lovers and authenticity. ...
... Each photo was considered a single unit of content. Following previous studies on destination image [3], [2], [14], a coding scheme was developed and adapted to our destination. It includes several themes corresponding to the main destination attributes, such as: a) Natural resources and scenery; b) Cultural heritage; c) Tourist experiences (illustrated by pictures with tourists [6]); d) Tourist infrastructure; e) Physical environment; f) Social Environment; g) Atmosphere of the place; h. ...
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It is known that the information acquired before the journey is essential for building visitor expectations and behaviour. With its increasing role as information and communication tool, internet has become a key factor for destination image formation. Specialized travel websites in particular have a major contribution to building and communicating destination image, especially those with user generated content. Perceived as more objective, personal visitor experiences shared online are much more convincing and influential for future tourists. They contain both cognitive and affective elements regarding tourist experiences, as well as recommendations. They also show the way visitors perceive destination image. Therefore, this paper was aimed to analyze the destination image of Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, as communicated by visitors' photos posted on the TripAdvisor website. Content analysis of pictures and reviews were used to identify the most important place attributes selected and highlighted by visitor photos as well as specific patterns of seeing and photographing the reserve. The results indicate an overall destination image of a wild paradise for nature lovers.
... Within the present article, we are going to study the results obtained from survey-based research regarding the image (perception) of the Romanian products and the touristic destinations, as perceived by the potential domestic medical tourists. Two approaches are made to consider the image of a certain destination: a cognitive one, based on the functional, structural, or physical characteristics of the destination-and an emotional one, pictured at the level of emotions and feelings generated by a destination on individuals (15). The research has been focused on the statistical movement and interpretation concerning both the Romanian medical tourist offer, as well as attitudes of trust, interest, and choices expressed by the respondents. ...
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Conference Paper
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The paper is a critical review of the national imaginary communicated through video tourism campaigns promoting Romania as an international destination after 1989. Despite the efforts to rebrand and reposition Romania within the global tourism market, most of the tourism campaigns tend to reproduce old national stereotypes and practices: the same national imaginary was reapproached in different tourism spots, reinforcing old geographical and historical representations built by school books and media discourses. Together with the tourism promoters’ oscillations between internal and external expectations, between economic and political agendas, these campaigns achieved an overall poor and indistinctive country image.
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This article examines the efforts of post-communist Romania and Bulgaria to reinvent their national images through the use of nation branding. After the collapse of communism in 1989, former communist nations experienced significant political, economic and cultural turmoil, accompanied by a deeply felt need for national self-redefinition. Nation branding programs were intended to articulate a new image for external consumption and, at the same time, to revive national pride at home. Adopting a critical interpretive approach, this article analyses comparatively the symbolism in two branding campaigns in Romania and Bulgaria. The analysis teases out tensions and contradictions in the advertising texts to generate insights about the politics of image creation and symbolic commodification in the post-communist context. The authors find that the campaigns appropriate national identity for the purposes of neoliberal globalization. This appropriation constrains national imaginaries within an ahistorical, depoliticized frame, resulting in a form of national identity lite. In this way, nation branding also serves to foreclose democratic avenues for national redefinition. •
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Since 20 years ago our country brand is unsuccessfully looking for its identity. Although over time numerous attempts were made, none of the projects was successful. Sashi Tharoor – a specialist in country brands – said that „for a country to become a valuable brand it must be the country with the story”. Which is Romania’s story then? Where should it start and where should it end? Who would be the best story-teller? And who would be the listeners? These are some questions to which this article is aimed to answer.
In recent years there has been a considerable interest in the cultural aspects of tourism such as the impacts of culture on tourism planning, development, management, and marketing. However, the focus has been on material forms of culture such as arts, music, or crafts. The impacts of national culture on tourist behavior and travel decision-making have not been paid much attention. Only in the last two years have cross-cultural issues begun to generate significant interest among academics. An examination of cultural characteristics and differences is extremely important to the tourism industry because today's tourism environment is becoming increasingly international. Information on the nature of the cultural differences between international tourists and locals is not readily available in tourism literature. The concept of culture is very complex and includes such abstract concepts as satisfaction, attitude and loyalty. International Tourism brings these concepts to the undergraduate student in tourism, as well as students in the related fields of marketing, management, international business, and cross-cultural communication. Designed as a textbook, it isorganized and presented in an integrated and relevant way for the benefit of a worldwide audience.
A sample of 617 student respondents was drawn from 12 universities, in different parts of the United States. Semantic differential instruments were used to measure respondents' descriptive and importance dimensions of thei.- image of Mexico. The analysis indicated major differences between the two image dimensions. Those image attributes which respondents considered to be important when considering a vacation in Mexico were related primarily to sanitation and safety. The most positive attributes respondents reported about Mexico related to climate and low costs. Measurement of respondents' descriptive image of Mexico indicated that the farther away respondents resided from Mexico, the more favorable was their image of that country as a vacation destination. Analysis indicated that the regional differences were not significant. However, significant differences were found on 12 of the 30 individual attributes which were used to measure image.
Developing coherent and comprehensive country brands is of vital importance for transitional countries as branding can contribute to the success of transition. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is a typical transitional region where the evolution of country branding provides valuable insights and experiences for other transitional regions as well. This paper overviews the most important challenges as well as mistakes of place branding in the region. After conceptualising place branding in the CEE context, the most important functions of country brands in transitional countries are outlined. This paper concentrates on those countries that joined the European Union in 2004 although some references are made to other Eastern European nations, which are at earlier stages of their political and economic transition.
Tourism TV commercials (TVCs) are a source of information for tourists. TVCs serve to assist the consumer in forming a mental image of a destination. These commercials, however, are seldom a topic of research. This paper analyses two New Zealand tourism TVCs, launched separately in 1999 and 2007. It combines video content analysis procedures suggested by Dimitrova, Zhang, Shahraray, Sezan, Huang and Zakhor (2002). and Rose (2007), a destination image research framework proposed by Beerli and Martin (2004) and Echtner and Ritchie (1991), and a film analysis methodology proposed by Giannetti (2008). The objective is to present a systematic approach to the understanding of tourism TVCs. It is found that 87% of camera shots in these two tourism TVCs last no more than one or 2 s; this is equivalent to using a montage to create an emotional or intellectual response. In the new TVC, established themes such as “nature” and “adventure” remain salient, and the way of life of the local people is emphasized. The aim of this study is to assess the destination image as framed through tourism TVCs to pave the way for future study on the visual elements that may influence an audience’s response to TVCs.
Recent examination of the content of Third World tourism marketing still lacks discussion concerning context. In this paper, an analysis of brochures representing different Third World countries reveals distinct patterns of marketing images occurring across these destinations. Postcolonial theory is used as a critical, contextual perspective to interpret these patterns. Three Third World tourism ‘Un’ myths are discussed: the myth of the unchanged, the myth of the unrestrained, and the myth of the uncivilized. It is shown that the representations surrounding these myths replicate colonial forms of discourse, emphasizing certain binaries between the First and Third Worlds and maintaining broader geopolitical power structures.RésuméLe contexte de la promotion du tourisme dans le tiers-monde. Les études récentes du contenu de la promotion du tourisme au tiers-monde manque de discussion du contexte. Dans cet article, une analyse des brochures au sujet de différents pays du tiers-monde révèle des modèles distincts des images de la promotion qui se rencontrent pour toutes ces destinations. La théorie postcoloniale est utilisée comme perspective critique et contextuelle pour interpréter ces modèles. On discute de trois mythes du tiers-monde: le mythe de l’inchangé, le mythe du non limité et le mythe du non civilisé. On montre que les représentations qui entourent ces mythes reproduisent les formes coloniales du discours, qu’elles soulignent certains binaires entre les pays industrialisés et le tiers-monde et qu’elles maintiennent, sur un plan plus large, la répartition des pouvoirs géopolitiques.
The aim of this paper is to develop and empirically validate a model which explains the different factors which form the post-visit image of a destination. Based on a literature review, this will involve analyzing the relationship between the different components of the perceived image and the factors which influence its formation. These include both sources of information (primary and secondary) and stimuli influencing the forming of perceptions and evaluations of destinations pre- and post-visit, respectively, and motivation, accumulated touristic experiences and sociodemographic characteristics.RésuméLes facteurs qui influencent l’image des destinations. Le propos de cet article est de développer et de valider empiriquement un modèle qui explique les différents facteurs qui forment l’image d’une destination après la visite. En se basant sur un bilan de la litérature, on analyse la relation entre les différents éléments de l’image perçue et les facteurs qui influencent sa formation. Ces facteurs comprennent les sources d’information (de nature primaire ou secondaire) et les impulsions qui influencent la formation des perceptions et d≐s évaluations des destinations avant et après la visite, respectivement, et les caractéristiques sociodémographiques et celles de la motivation et des experiences touristiques accumulées.