Picture perfect : representing Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in AFAR, National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure, 2011-2015
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In a visually driven world, photographs are an imperative part of communication, especially in travel magazines. Over the past decade, only one qualitative study has been completed on images in leisure travel magazines. In 2013, Hsu and Song studied the top six Chinese leisure travel magazines to see if any patterns regarding photographic representation of Hong Kong and Macau existed. Using Beerli and Martín’s (2004) nine qualitative classification categories, they found that certain characteristics were represented while others were not. This qualitative study explored the photographic representation of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in three American print leisure travel magazines. Following Beerli and Martín’s (2004) qualitative research template, the study reviewed 230 images published in AFAR, National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure from 2011 to 2015. Evidence concluded that most images focused on three categories: Culture, History and Art; Tourist Infrastructure; and Social Environment. Findings suggest there is a restricted selection of photographs available to travel publications due to magazine budget limitations and a small number of photographers who travel to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.