UNIVERSITY OF TIRANA
FACULTY OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGES
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND TOURISM
TOPIC: VISUAL TECHNIQUES OF THE LANGUAGE OF TOURISM
ACCPTED BY: PREPARED BY: Prof. IRENA PATA ELIDA RROSHI
Tourism advertising materials are used to communicate images of tourism destinations to potential tourists. These materials usually contain textual descriptions, pictures, maps, animation and video. Print advertisements include those in magazines, newspapers, tourism brochures and flyers. They are filled with textual descriptions, pictures, maps, lists of attractions, accommodations and restaurants. These elements, including design elements such as text font, page layout, and background colors, work together to create the overall image of the destination in the tourist’s mind. The predominant promotional form in destination marketing is the brochure. The brochure reaches the most potential customers, so many think that the “physical value” of an attractive brochure can not be replaced by other forms of communication (Middleton 1990: 182). The most important purpose of the destination brochure is informing and promoting. It serves as a substitute for the destination until the moment of arrival in a tourist resort. The brochure should be easy to read and attractive. It contains not only a verbal message, but also pictures as a very strong means of communication. As the old saying goes, “seeing is believing”. Images indeed play an important role in convincing people to visit a certain place. Acting as stimuli to the readers’ minds, images help build new prediction and reinforce the relevant existing predictions. The tourism discourse images are highly selective and mostly emphasize only the positive aspects. According to Crawshaw and Urry (1997, 198) report that the professional travel photographers they interviewed “generally agreed that their work involved selecting, shaping and structuring elements of the physical environment to reflect mental images”. According to Crawshaw and Urry (1997,189), the essential consideration for photos which would sell to tourists and tourism clients are ‘viewpoints’, ‘pleasing subjects’, ‘the right conditions’ (e.g. good weather days) and ‘good lighting’. And this is all due to the promotional character of the tourism. Through amplifying the beauty and desirability of the scenery and stripping it of unfavorable circumstances (e.g. bad weather and low visibility), photos in travel brochures are often “romanticized”. And as such they create a vision in the tourist’s mind and perspective of what pictures to take with their own cameras when they go to that destination. Will they be satisfied or not that is a question of time. An important aspect of visual discourse analysis is the reliability of the image, which is termed “modality” by Kress and van Leeuwen (1996, 160). They define the term as “the truth value or credibility of (linguistically realized) statements about the world”. Although the concept originates from linguistics, they argue that modality (i.e. how reliable and true the images are) is equally important in visual communication. The higher the modality, the more reliable or true it is. Kress and van Leeuwen (1996, 161) point out that modality judgment is dependent on the viewers for whom the representation is primarily intended. So in the case of travel brochure, it’s the tourists’ perception (instead of the locals’) on which the modality judgment is based. So in the example brochure photos that I have taken, some photos show a clear blue sky and good weather. Given that Istanbul (Turkey) is notorious for its high air quality and such a beautiful sky can often be seen, than we are not talking about “romanticized”...
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