• Monica Coronel Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Leonardo Torres León University of Cuenca
  • Imelda Avecillas Torres University of Cuenca
  • Cristina Andrea Barzallo Neira University of Cuenca
Keywords: Projected image, Facebook, Social media, Destination Management Organizations, COVID-19


This study explores how the image of a destination - an intermediate city of South America- is projected by the DMO on the official Facebook page, and how this social networking is managed by the DMO. To this end, 454 posts from the official DMO’s Facebook page over one year, consisting of text, illustrations (photographs, banners, graphics) and videos, were analysed using two approaches, inductive and deductive. Findings reveal that posts mainly comprise places in the city -tourist hot spots- and dismiss activities and people (locals and visitors), which projects the image of a mass tourism destination.  Content is mainly informative and not always on tourism-related topics. The pandemic significantly impacted the type of content published during the study period. The DMO fails to project on Facebook a consistent and well-differentiated image of the city. The DMO’s lack of political independence from the local government influences the content and purpose of the publications. The study reflects the impact of social networks on the projection of the image of a destination. It highlights the usefulness of visual resources in tourism promotion and their possible impact on the expectations and motivations of potential visitors. Furthermore, it outlines an approach to assessing the projected image of a destination through social media by categorizing three elements -places, activities, and people- shown in the posts. The current work offers valuable insights to DMOs on social media management strategies, especially Facebook.


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How to Cite
Coronel, M., Torres León, L., Avecillas Torres, I., & Barzallo Neira, C. A. (2023, August 8). PROJECTING A DESTINATION IMAGE THROUGH FACEBOOK: THE ROLE AND CHALLENGES OF DESTINATION MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS. Journal of Tourism and Heritage Research, 6(3), 219-233. Retrieved from