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    A comparative analysis of the UK travel websites: Italy, Turkey, and Thailand

    Kongpolphrom, Woralan (2023) A comparative analysis of the UK travel websites: Italy, Turkey, and Thailand. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    The primary motivation for the project carried out in the thesis is to understand communication strategies in promotional materials targeting tourists. The thesis examines how popular tourist destination countries including Italy, Turkey, and Thailand are presented and constructed in the UK Travel Websites Corpus and what language and communication strategies are used for marketing purposes to persuade UK tourists to visit these countries of different cultural backgrounds. It adopts a Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) design as an overarching methodology with positioning theory as an interpretative framework. The keyword analysis shows different orientations and foci among the three countries primarily due to their different national positioning, namely, Italy –distinctive cultural resources; Turkey – seascape and beach; and, Thailand –exoticness. These different orientations may be partly related to the geographical distance from the departure country and perceived socio-cultural difference. The further the country is, the more exotically the country is positioned as evident in the increasing use of evaluative adjectives and semantic categories. Moreover, cultural authenticity of cultural artefacts such as architectural constructions and ruins, cuisine, and ways of life, is often prominent in discourse. The lexical items related to cultural authenticity are frequently associated with affiliative adjectives and time descriptors (e.g. Byzantine, Ottoman, and Siamese). Other promotional strategies for marketing purposes are also identified through corpus analysis at the lexical, sentential, and discourse levels. Specifically, while sentences vary in their structures, the use of adjectives, epithets, and name referents, synthetic personalisation of the pronoun ‘we’ is featured frequently and these promotional materials are structured in a conversation-like discourse style. These findings have practical and educational implications. The insights can assist tourism professionals with language and discourse strategies in creating their promotional materials to attract customers. They can also inform pedagogical activities for both course administrators and teachers in course design and course materials such as English for Specific Purposes and English for Tourism and other intercultural communication courses aimed at raising cultural awareness. In summary, this research reveals the language and discourse strategies specifically employed for marketing purposes where locations and cultural backgrounds are entirely different by looking into the positioning of national contexts which is of significance for marketing purposes in the travel websites.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2023 10:29
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 16:17


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