Projected Destination Images on African Websites: Upgrading Branding Opportunities in the Global Tourism Value Chain
41 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2009
Date Written: February 2008, 12
This paper explores whether websites that offer a global audience virtual access to watering holes in game parks afford African nations opportunities to diminish their international isolation as tourism destinations. The present analysis examines a sample of almost 450 tourism websites representing Rwanda, Uganda and Mozambique. Two aspects are studied in particular: the websites’ technical and social infrastructures, including website ownership and networks, and website content, i.e. the projected destination image and opportunities to bridge the main supplier-consumer gaps in the global tourism value chain. The findings indicate that there is substantial foreign involvement in Africa’s online tourism infrastructure; furthermore, that the current projected images tend to reproduce foreign stereotypes. It concludes that the potential for upgrading branding capabilities could be sourced in indigenous African cultural attributes, both high and low culture, and in contexts of the past and the contemporary.
Keywords: tourism industry, global value chain, dynamic image formation, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, upgrading
JEL Classification: F23, M14, M, Q26, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation