Island Images and Imaginations: Beyond the Typical Tropical

  • Godfrey BaldacchinoEmail author


‘Warm water’ islands present themselves, and find themselves presented, as locales of desire, platforms of luscious paradise, emotional offloading or spiritual and psychological pilgrimage. The metaphoric deployment of the small, warm, tropical island is a gripping topos in Western discourse. With these traits, however, comes a suite of challenges: invisibility, inability to influence an island’s reputational construct, and an incongruence between ‘the island’ as a brand and island brands. Using suitable examples, this chapter reviews how visual and written island narratives address these challenges. The chapter cross-cuts inter-disciplinarily across island studies, marketing and place branding. Its analysis includes a review of attempts to (1) move island happenings off the beach (literally); (2) develop lucrative, knowledge-intensive niche markets that avoid the mass tourism offer; and (3) re-present islanders not as exotic and servile natives, created to please.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MaltaMsidaMalta

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