• Fernando Pinto Santos ISCTE-IUL, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
  • Ana Paula Soares Marques Universidade do Minho


Experience, Destination, Representation, Signs, Semiotics, Tourism


The purpose of our research is to propose a semiotic view about how tourists develop their experiences in the destinations. The encompassing view of the tourist’s experiences as processes of representation allows the understanding that every cue or touchpoint between the place and the tourists is a semiotic sign that carries meaning. These cues or signs can be used by tourists when they construct their representations of the destinations and well before they travel to these places. Our research is exploratory and we propose envisaging the tourist's experiences as a holistic apprehension of signs about the destinations. With a Peircean semiotic view one can draw implications for the tourism management theory and practice and suggest avenues of research that can be empirically developed in future research. Our semiotic approach unveils that the tourist experience results mostly of unconscious processes that are conditioned by all the previous knowledge and the idiosyncrasies of the self of each tourist.

Author Biographies

  • Fernando Pinto Santos, ISCTE-IUL, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
    Doutorando em Gestão, Ramo de Marketing
  • Ana Paula Soares Marques, Universidade do Minho
    Mestre em Património e Turismo, Licenciada em Turismo



How to Cite

Santos, F. P., & Marques, A. P. S. (2012). THE TOURIST EXPERIENCE - A SEMIOTIC APPROACH. Tourism & Management Studies, 1102-1104.

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