Writing the Mythical Landscape: An Analysis of the Poetic Devices used in Tourism’s Promotional Literature

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George, Jodie
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This article critically examines the use of poetry and poetic language in the promotional materials of tourism, analysing how particular sites are made desirable through the tropes of figurative language. Specific practices examined include the appropriation of existing poetry, the creation of new poetry, and the use of particular poetic devices including metaphor, alliteration, consonance, and dissonance. Although effective for the purposes of marketing, this study finds the use of poetry is problematic, as the discursive constructions of place rarely capture the complexities of local cultures and traditions. Instead, the language of tourism relies primarily upon easily recognisable stereotypes to create an imagined geography in which only particular individuals and practices are celebrated. Such practices highlight the problematic influence of consumption trends, which regard tourism sites as palimpsests, upon which identity may be written, erased, and written again to suit customer desire. This raises critical questions about who has the power to inscribe particular meanings upon the landscape, why those meanings are chosen, and what may be designated ‘authentic’ within those spaces.
Tourism, Poetry, Figurative language, Marketing, Authenticity