“Cowboys, Indians, Oil & Cattle…Texas History” (Graham, TX): How Texas destinations associate themselves with the state narrative

Eli Avraham, Igal Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several studies in destination marketing literature have shown that use of the “engaging celebrities” or “associating a place with a celebrity” strategy can be successful to market a place. Yet despite the proven effectiveness of this association strategy, there is not enough research into the idea of associating a destination with other kinds of familiar and admired symbols—such as famous brands, heritage, and narratives. The aim of the current study is to expand the theoretical discussion around the association strategy beyond celebrities and to analyze which techniques marketers have used in order to associate their destinations with a state narrative; this includes examining some of the narrative components such as local brands, symbols, values, events, and sites. This topic has not yet been addressed in either tourism marketing academic or professional literature. Because the state of Texas has one of the most familiar narratives, it makes for a good case study in which to examine how marketers use the state narrative to market their destinations. As a methodology, we used quantitative and mainly qualitative content analysis of 666 tourism ads for Texan cities and towns, published in Texas Travel Guides (2008–2018). The findings show seven techniques that marketers used in order to associate their destinations with the narrative. Using the state of Texas as an example may provide a test case for exploring how marketers associate their place with other US state narratives in promotional tourism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Early online date20 Aug 2021
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • Texas
  • association strategy
  • destination marketing
  • state identity
  • state narrative
  • tourism advertising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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