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Michael Palin's Himalaya : Potential Impact of Television Travel Diaries on Destination Image

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A strong academic interest in media-induced tourism has emerged in recent years with a focus on fictional movies and television programs. In contrast, few studies have evaluated audiovisual formats of factual or documentary nature, despite the increasing popularity of such television programs with a specific travel theme. In the UK, programs resembling video diaries in which the presenter, generally a celebrity, is accompanied on an extended journey by a television crew are firmly established in the television schedule. this article examines the potential impacts of the television travel series Himalaya presented by Michael Palin on destination image by analyzing viewers' comments on the accompanying website. the study identifies the program's positive effect on destination image and demonstrates that not only the content itself but also the way in which the series is presented contribute to positive attitudes towards the places shown. the presenter's persona enhances the viewers' perceived connectedness with the program and contributes to destination awareness and positive destination perceptions. Clearly, a focus on program content alone is insufficient when analyzing the impact of such television programs on destination image. Given the exploratory nature of the study, areas of further research are suggested.
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Keywords: CELEBRITY; DESTINATION IMAGE; DOCUMENTARY; MEDIA; TELEVISION; TRAVEL PROGRAM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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