A visual analysis of a cultural tourism destination
This research investigates how a relatively unknown town that is elected as cultural capital of Europe can use visual materials to attract visitors from totally different areas in the world, particularly China. The study uses visual cues for two purposes: first, to evaluate the motivating factors that lead travellers with different cultural background to select their travel destination, and second, to explore the influence of visual communication in the promotion of cultural tourism. The research studied the impact of visual information during several stages in the visit: before the visit in the decision-making process; during the visit in the experience stage; and after the visit in the post-experience evaluation. It was found that visual material can help to frame the experience in all three stages. For that reason it is advisable for destinations to employ some kind of visual identity system management to package the city image into a clear brand.
Keywords: European Capital of Culture, Leeuwarden 2018, Chinese visitors, destination branding, flanking research