The language of tourism advertising in five countries worst affected by the Asian Tsunami : before and after focussing on Thailand
PublisherLiverpool John Moores University
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This research investigated the use of language in the texts of the promotional brochures created for the tourist industry. The selected printed materials for the study were used in advertising the five countries most severely affected by the Asian Tsunami in 2004 (Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives). The focus of the analysis was on the two sets of brochures of the five selected countries published by the UK’s leading travel agencies – Thomas Cook, Thomson and Kuoni before and after the disaster. The contrastive discourse analysis was applied in order to investigate the similarities and differences of linguistic features within the texts both between the two sets for each country as well as between the five selected countries. The overall results of the text analysis from the five selected countries have shown significant changes in language use. The investigation revealed that in the post-disaster set of brochures the number of destinations was broadened and their descriptions were made more vivid. The post-disaster texts represented more efforts in developing a wider range of tourism attractions and activities in order to expand the markets and increase the number as well as type of potential future tourists. The information derived from the questionnaire has revealed the potential tourists’ sensitivity to language used in promotional brochures. The results demonstrated that most respondents were aware of the change of language used before and after the Tsunami. The findings validated the hypothesis that the role of language within tourism advertising is as significant as the role of images. This has a major impact on individuals’ choosing their next holiday destination since many potential tourists still base their holiday decision-making on holiday brochures. The research has found that the role of language plays a significant role in tourism advertising representations and also has a major part as one of the marketing tools in tourism promotional strategy.