Rethinking destination image formation

Hidayet Kislali (School of Management, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Mihalis Kavaratzis (School of Management, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Michael Saren (School of Management, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Publication date: 7 March 2016



This paper aims to contribute to conceptualization of destination image (DI) and shed light on the overlooked socio-cultural aspects of tourism along with recent technological changes. It endeavours to develop a framework to conceptualize DI formation considering socio-cultural, political, historical and technological influences.


Unlike the orthodoxy in tourism research, tourism phenomenon is approached from a wider social science perspective. To cast light on the progress in DI research, a critical literature review is followed by evaluation of the well-known DI formation frameworks in tourism literature. Seminal articles, cornerstones of DI studies, are critically discussed in this paper. While stressing the prominence of these studies, their shortcomings are also examined.


The paper introduces a novel framework of DI formation that helps bring DI research further through a wider socio-cultural perspective. The framework incorporates holistic characteristics of DI and the contemporary technological environment.


This paper proposes a nuanced and more holistic understanding of DI. While most of the previous studies overlooked socio-cultural, historical, political, economic and technological factors, they have been explicitly addressed in the framework proposed in this paper.



Kislali, H., Kavaratzis, M. and Saren, M. (2016), "Rethinking destination image formation", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 70-80.

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