The role of image in service promotion: focusing on the influence of film on consumer choice within tourism

Peter Bolan, Lindsay Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a review and discussion of the role image plays in service promotionand consumer choice in the context of film-induced tourism. Consumers can be verysensitive to images which are important determinants of what a service customer purchases.In relation to image, the medium of film can have a very influential impact on itsaudience. Consumers may make purchase choices in a range of areas as a result of whatthey have seen in the movies. An expanding body of literature suggests that film caninfluence people’s travel decisions and entice them to visit particular destinations they haveseen on the cinema screen (reinforced through repeat viewing on video, DVD and television). Tourism is a service industry. Does the image of a destination and how it isrepresented help overcome some of the challenges of service marketing?Many regions throughout the British Isles have seen their consumer appeal improvebecause of their links with respective film and television productions. Although they havebenefited tourism-wise from this, in many cases there still has not been enough real support from tourist authorities to this growth phenomenon, and as such, the full potential of film to tap into the consumer psyche has not yet been fully realized. Academic discourse from several disciplines is examined in this communication culminating in a conceptual model of destination enhancement through film-induced image, featuring the conscious and unconscious communication factors at work on two sets of consumers (film consumers and destination consumers). As a ‘work in progress’, the paper sets the scene for further empirical research in this interesting area of study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-390
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • consumer choice
  • film
  • image
  • marketing
  • media
  • tourism
  • destination


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