Fake news simulated performance: gazing and performing to reinforce negative destination stereotypes

Research output: Journal article publicationComment/debate/erratum

1 Citation (Scopus)


Destinations with populations of African descent have continuously experienced negative stereotypes portrayed in traditional Western print media. These narratives have expanded to fake news circulating among individuals online, which calls for new techniques in combatting this issue. As there is limited evidence related to fake news in destinations, this research examines how fake news has emerged as a means of reinforcing negative stereotypes for destinations by examining three cases. It proposes a geographical perspective for understanding the production of fake news in tourism as simulated performances incorporating the setting of the frontstage, gazers and changing identities. These aspects drive the visibility, legitimacy and resistance to fake news, which can affect economic gains and conflicting discourses regarding these destinations. This research moves away from conceptualising fake news as solely narratives, as has been done previously. As a result, it draws attention to the spatiality of the phenomenon, which can provide practitioners with insights for developing and implementing destination image repair strategies. Practitioners should incorporate gazers into their strategies for combatting stereotypes. They also need to carry out continuous and real-time repair alongside bunking strategies prior to and during performances. Debunking strategies should provide contextual data in order to be effective. Alongside the empirical contributions, the research enhances the theoretical underpinning of fake news, social media and generally technologies in tourism through the application of concepts within media and black geographies research. These research areas remain understudied in tourism but can serve as pathways to guide further analyses on race in online contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-96
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2024


  • Black geographies
  • destination image
  • fake news
  • gaze
  • media geographies
  • performance
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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