Toeristische beeldvorming rondom het onafhankelijkheidsreferendum : De Schotse casus als veranderende context
Ham, A.E.C. van den
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In 1314 the battle of Bannockburn took place. This battle is also known as the War of Independence in Scottish history (Walton, 2006). Last year was the 700th anniversary of this battle. But the year 2014 was not only marked by this commemoration, the Scots celebrated Homecoming. Homecoming was first celebrated in 2009 by the Scots and 53.7 million pounds extra funding was provided to Tourism (Scottish Natural Heritage, 2015). The year of Homecoming celebrates the Scots 'home', this is not only for the locals but for everyone who has a link with Scotland (Scottish Natural Heritage, 2015). There were several major events in the program such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. But the absolute highlight was to be a referendum on Scottish independence. On September 18, 2014 the Scots were allowed to choose whether they wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom. The situation in Scotland fits within the current era of globalization in which capital, goods, people, ideologies and cultures are no longer tied to one location, but have become mobile (Castells, 2011). In Scotland there is a desire for individuality, identity and to strongly communicate that identity to the relevant 'other'. It focuses, traditionally, mainly on the differences with England (Walton 2006). This is the negative reference against which their identity can be defined (Bond, 2006). The latter is of interest in view of the tourism in Scotland. Does this mean that tourists in 2014 from within the UK had a different image of Scotland than tourists from outside the UK? This study examines the answer to the above questions. These questions form the main aspects of this investigation: To what extent does the image of Scotland in travelogues of Dutch and British tourists change before and after the independence referendum and what (personal) characteristics play a role here? According to Choi (2007), travel blogs play an important role in the evaluation of areas by tourists. This research will also look at what images tourists reproduce in their blogs. This will be investigated in this study and analyzed by means of a content analysis of the tourists’ blogs. In addition to the blogs of British tourists, blogs of Dutch tourists are also examined, as there is a comparison which can be made based on the country of origin. It also examines the role of the referendum in this picture, so there will be blogs examined of before and after the referendum. Share Question 1 was concerned with the general picture across Scotland in the blogs. As was seen in the previous chapter, the images of Scotland are no different than expected from the literature. The predefined stereotype Midges is not covered. However, the stereotypes weather and Christmas are found in the blogs. In addition, it is striking that there are hardly any British or English stereotypes in the blogs. This indicates that the tourist also unconsciously creates a difference between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Both McGregor and Billig focus on the communication of images and the effect on the unconscious imaging. Something on which the tourism industry is constantly focused, but also what is central to the campaign by the Scottish government in their struggle for independence. Their theories regarding the overall image of Scotland are therefore confirmed. Only one in five blogs discussed the independence referendum, but there were none with any nationalistic element . Arguably one has seen nationalism, but it has been noticed by 20 percent of surveyed tourists. Nicoll (2014) states that a casual visitor to Edinburgh or Glasgow, Scotland's largest cities, 6 would have no idea that there is an independence campaign underway, although there was indeed plenty of such activity in the streets of Scotland. That view is supported in the research. The sub-questions 2, 3 and 4 focus on the differences between blogs. Question Part 2 focuses on the difference between Dutch and British, part Question 3 on the difference between 2013 and 2014 and part Question 4 focuses on the sites visited. The investigation also takes into account other differences, these are covered in Chapter 5, but they turn out as expected with less impact on the image than the first three pillars. From the literature it has been found that in several ways, use is made of imaging. The image people have about a particular place or region is determined by the expectation that they have of an area, their expectations are based on insider information, such as media, tourism industry, and family, friends and acquaintances who have already visited the place or region. There are also differences about this area by society, by social group and historical period. The Scots traditionally oppose the English, in addition, the British have a lot more knowledge about Scotland and the referendum on independence. Dutch tourists are much more influenced by the tourism industry and perhaps more frequent visits to the same place. The British and the Dutch have very different views of Scotland. All predefined expectations are found in the analysis of the blogs. Blogs after the referendum show a different image than the blogs before the referendum. In general they describe Scotland as an one nation. The Dutch also have a different focus than British in their blogs the Dutch focus is more at the landscape the British focus on history. Finally, there appeared to be differences between the locations visited. The biggest difference was how they saw the land and what they reported about the identity.