The Language of Tourism : How the Tourism Industry Promotes Magic

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Högskolan i Halmstad


To lure potential customers to buy a holiday away from home, most marketers incorporate certain semantic and pragmatic features into their promotional material: words and images are chosen with utmost care. The present study is conducted in order to reveal these semantic and pragmatic features and equally, to show how they highlight the concept of “magic”.This research is based on responses from six different interviews in which the interviewees had to describe twelve key words and key phrases taken from twelve tourism advertisements, in and out of context. Secondary material further consists of publications dealing with the areas of linguistics, advertising and tourism.The conclusion of this research will reveal that the impact of tourism advertisements depends on agreement between various semantic and pragmatic elements rather than implementation of individual semantic and pragmatic features per se. In other words, all the semantic and pragmatic elements (linguistic and non-linguistic content) have to reinforce one another, acknowledging common ground and meeting the reader's pre-existing assumptions. Hence, for an advertisement to avoid ambiguity it has to be relevance-governed, delivering just what is necessary to ensure that the reader is able to decode the message: that one should leave the ordinary and travel to a temporary, yet seemingly magical holiday destination.   

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