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The Perception of Nature in Travel Promotion Texts

A Corpus-based Discourse Analysis

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Ida Ruffolo

Given the consolidated effects of the greening process on the tourism industry, this volume investigates the relationship between three areas of research – the natural environment, tourism and discourse –, and how this relationship is affected by and affects society as a whole. In particular, the book highlights the central role of language in constructing eco-friendly tourist sites. Since the images associated to nature are various, this study examines the uses of nature and explores how the terms nature and natural are constructed within the texts. The research identifies how nature is linguistically defined and constructed by advertisers in travel promotion texts in order to attract potential ‘green’ tourists. The study also analyses the promotion of protected areas to verify the extent to which these areas meet the criteria on sustainable tourism set by the World Tourism Organization.
By adopting a corpus-based discourse analysis perspective which combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book unravels the complex interrelationship between the environment, tourism and advertising.
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3 Research Framework

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3 Research Framework

3.1 Research aims

As illustrated in chapter two, considerable research has been conducted on the investigation of promotional material on and about environmental discourse and/or the discourse of tourism. However, relatively little research has been carried out on the interrelationship of the three concepts. This study is an attempt to examine the complex relationship and its influence on those tourists who are interested in nature-based tourism. In the following sections, I will provide a detailed explanation of the research methodology adopted in this study.

3.2 Building up a corpus of travel promotion texts

The research described in this analysis was conducted on a specialized corpus of English language travel promotion texts. When considering the relatively small size of the corpus under investigation, we must keep in mind that a corpus is not merely a random collection of texts but, rather, a collection that has been put together according to specific criteria. These criteria are determined by the researcher’s needs and the goal of his/her own project (Baker, 2006; McEnery et al., 2006). As a consequence, when we are interested in investigating a particular subject, “the quality or content of data takes equal or more precedence over issues of quantity” (Baker, 2006: 29). ← 27 | 28 →

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