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Chapter 5 Hope for Haiti How media narratives can transform a destination in despair

DOI: 10.23912/9781911396673-4116

ISBN: 9781911396673

Published: July 2019

Component type: chapter

Published in: Reputation and Image Recovery for the Tourism Industry

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911396673-3803



Haiti has been beset by a series of natural disasters over the past decade, notably the 2010 7.0 magnitude Haiti Earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which caused catastrophic flooding. However, in addition to the natural disasters, Haiti is the poorest economy in the western hemisphere and has a history of politically turbulent events, each of which have contributed to despair and a negative destination image (Séraphin, 2018; Séraphin et al., 2017). This is a troubling combination for a tourist destination. Haiti, as a destination in the Caribbean, has a strategic advantage with its expansive coast and natural attractions, but the underdevelopment of tourism in Haiti is linked to shadows of natural disasters, economic dependence on foreign aid and political uncertainty (see Séraphin et al., 2017; Wise and Díaz-Garayúa, 2015). The power of nature has placed much media attention on Haiti, and it has gained much negative attention in recent years in the media, but the images of a ‘beautiful destination’ is now changing the narrative to a destination on the rise (Caribbean News Now, 2017a; The World Bank, 2018). However, tourism in a developing country comes with numerous obstacles, as extensive investments are needed to allow tourism to thrive in the increasingly competitive Caribbean market. This is where the media plays a crucial role in transforming how a destination is portrayed. This chapter will assess narratives sourced from newspaper travel articles published in 2017 to understand how presentations of tourism in Haiti are constructing a new image of the country as an emerging tourism destination—an attempt to overcome the range of negative connotations. However, while the chapter focuses on image recovery in relation to the recent natural disasters in Haiti, it must also be noted that Haiti is also a destination with longstanding image issues given the extent of poverty, violence and political corruption (Séraphin, 2018).

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  • Nicholas Wise, School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition, Liverpool John Moores University. Liverpool, UK. (Author)

For the source title:

  • Gabby Walters, Tourism Discipline, School of Business, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD (Editor)
  • Judith Mair, Associate Professor, UQ Business School, University of Queensland, Australia (Editor)

Cite as

Wise, 2019

Wise, N. (2019) "Chapter 5 Hope for Haiti How media narratives can transform a destination in despair" In: Walters, G. & Mair, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911396673-4116


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