Tourists travel with certain perceptions/images in their minds about a destination, which results in modifying the meaning of the destination. Nonetheless, tourists are also shaped by the travel experience itself. These images are employed by tourism marketers to attract tourists. Thus, it is crucial to comprehend semiotics in tourism since it helps to identify images that are used in not only tourism marketing, but also academic debates. Furthermore, there are many unexplored areas in tourism where semiotics could be of an advantage; yet, it is underemployed. Hence, this paper seeks to explore the various existing semiotic approaches within tourism. By conducting a systematic literature review, differences and similarities of the application of tourism semiotics can be identified. The findings indicate there is no main theoretical framework which the scholars used to analyze representations of destinations. Consequently, it can be argued that scholars combined various methods and chose not to use semiotics as a lone standing method because the former gives them a more holistic picture of destination representations and how it is communicated.
Author: H. Nguyen (2014)