" A paradox of images": Representation of China as a tourist destination

Honggen Xiao, Heather L. Mair

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyzes the image(s) of China as a tourist destination through the representational narratives of major English newspapers. Feature travel accounts-thirty-five articles from twenty sources-were used as information-rich discourse to explore the portrayal of the destination's image. Data were obtained through a focused search from LexisNexis Academic-one of the largest databases of international newspapers, and coded through Nudist Nvivo for an inductive analysis. It was found that a paradox of images has emerged from the contrasting perceptions of the changing versus the unchanged in the representational dynamics. The finding of paradoxical images provides an alternative to the interpretation of representational frames or patterns prevalent in the academic discourse with regard to the portrayal of culturally different tourist destinations. Implications, limitations of this analysis and future research issues are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Destination image
  • Newspaper
  • Representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


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