Metaphoric Perceptions of Tourist Guides Regarding the Destination Image of Van Province

Özoğul Balyalı T., Bayram Öz E.

Geographies, Planning & Tourism StudioS, vol.2, no.1, pp.33-38, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


This research examines the metaphors developed by tourist guides that play an important role in the formation of the destination image. It is aimed to determine the perceptions of the Van province destination image of the tourist guides through metaphors. The fact that tour guides have a key role in affecting tourists’ destination perceptions’ is the importance of this research. The problem of the research is that there is no study in the literature that reflects the destination image of Van from the point of view of the guides. By using qualitative research methods, a phenomenological approach was used to understand the perceptions of tourist guides towards Van. As a result of the interviews with 29 guides living in Van, the guides developed 25 different metaphors about Van. Positive metaphors are 17 and 9 are negative. The ‘pearl mullet’ metaphor was included under the themes of both negative and positive metaphors. Among the metaphors, the most frequently repeated metaphor is ‘‘paradise’’ for Van. Some guides associate the city of Van with the metaphor of ‘‘paradise’’, indicating that Van has all kinds of beauty. Different guides emphasized the harmony of ethnic diversity living in Van with metaphors such as ‘‘miniatürk’’, ‘‘mosaic’’, ‘‘marbling art’’, ‘‘a garden with many different fruits’’. On the other hand, the guides also described Van with metaphors such as ‘‘an ore that needs to be unearthed’’, ‘‘an abstract treasure waiting to be discovered’’, ‘‘an unfinished poem because its poet died’’, and ‘‘sleeping beauty’’. These negative metaphors point to the discourse that what needs to be done is not done enough for the development of the province of Van. The research outputs will guide each tourism stakeholder working to improve the destination image of Van.