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Constructing online tourist destination images: a visual discourse analysis of the official Beijing Tourism website

Wenjin Qi and Nadezda Sorokina
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

Having the right image as a tourist destination brings immense benefits for a city’s international recognition in an increasingly competitive tourist industry. Official tourism websites as effective platforms to project a destination image online are able to provide substantial information about the tourist destination and attract a wider potential for inbound tourists from a global market. However, a lack of sufficient research has been noted regarding the integration of tourism studies and the study of website discourse, particularly visual discourse. This study, drawing on the theory of metafunctions in semiotics, conducts a visual discourse analysis by examining the three metafunctional meanings of visual images extracted from the official Beijing Tourism website. The results of both quantitative and qualitative analyses showed that the investigated website constructs an online city destination image through a multiplicity of tourist resources. The study concludes by outlining the practical benefits for tourism website designers and implications for future research.


Corresponding author: Wenjin Qi, School of Foreign Studies, Yuncheng University, Yuncheng, Shanxi, China; and Sol International School, Woosong University, Daejeon, South Korea, E-mail:

Funding source: Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences (Shanxi Provincial People's Government Development Research Center) 2021 Youth Project

Award Identifier / Grant number: YWQN202135

  1. Research funding: This research has received funding from the Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences (Shanxi Provincial People’s Government Development Research Center) 2021 Youth Project (Project Number: YWQN202135).

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Published Online: 2021-08-18
Published in Print: 2021-08-26

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