This paper aims to highlight the political influences that account for the destination image of a tourist city: Campos do Jordão, São Paulo State, Brazil. The study took into consideration the collective imagination and its influence on the formation of touristic destinations.
Descriptive study based on literature and document review, accompanied by an analysis of texts and photos available on non-official websites – about Campos do Jordão – from November to December 2018 and by visits to selected location.
“Charm”, “refinement” and “sophistication” are the most frequently used words to describe Campos do Jordão, which remains a symbol of exclusiveness and refuge for the highest social classes. These images are shaped by political and economic influences.
The investigation focussed on a single city. Also, as it is an analytical study aimed at showing the permanence of preconceived values used to build the image of a destination it is not possible to talk about extrapolating the present study to other cities. In addition, the research was done by using the reproduction of physical and cultural aspects in addition to the use of European landscapes structures and values in a locality with an exceptional environmental context.
Many of the images connected to Campos do Jordão are replicated by local citizens, a fact that evidences the importance of associative memory, which concerns memories citizens have of their living space. The social implications presented herein seek to recover the formative memories of the assessed city, although it is not the focus of the current study. Assumingly, becoming an active segment of the tourism sector is the only way for local citizens to appropriate the city.
The influence of local government and public actions in tourism construction and in the image linked to the city is used as a case study. Building a touristic imagination demands a wide range of businesses, but this process takes time and effort, as highlighted by the applied documental review; it would not happen without the straight interference of the public sector through the local government.
de Castro Mendes, B. and Jose Cavenaghi, A. (2020), "Building a destination image: images of exclusiveness and refuge", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-09-2019-0150Download as .RIS
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