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Visiting the Borderless City: Traveling via the Internet
Unformatted Document Text:  one hundred different images of Ground Zero, which might increase their desire to see the location in person. In recognition of this link between viewing Ground Zero on the Web and traveling to it, several New York tourism Web sites provided images from Ground Zero and information on how to get tickets for the viewing platform next to information about hotel discounts (Digitalcity.com, 2002; Virtualtourist.com, 2002; NewYork.com, 2002). Even the official New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site acknowledged the transformation of Ground Zero into a tourist attraction: besides providing links for booking hotels and details on restaurants and museums, a link to information on the viewing platform was created. This was just a small part of the marketing strategy of the NYC & Company 19 Web site, which in many ways transformed the tragedy into the primary reason for visiting New York. At the top of its home page it stated, ’New York would like to thank you for your thoughts and generosity by offering very special travel values. During Paint the Town Red White & Blue, individual hotels, museums, attractions, restaurants, and stores offer special values through February 28.’ 20 Recognizing how the city used the increased sense of patriotism to sell itself is not to condemn it for exploiting a tragedy. For one thing, any tourism they gained from this strategy would not make up for the enormous economic loss that resulted from the September11 attacks. The point is to see how the symbols that circulate in the media can reshape the dominant image of a city, and marketers of tourism may find these symbols and the meanings that accompany them to be useful. Moreover, if the city did not take advantage of these symbols--firefighters, the American flag, Ground Zero--the Internet allowed tourists to find other organizations that used them in their promotions. Official visitors bureaus can either use the symbols that are circulating or potentially lose the symbols’ values to others. 21

Authors: Fotsch, Paul.
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one hundred different images of Ground Zero, which might increase their desire to see the
location in person. In recognition of this link between viewing Ground Zero on the Web and
traveling to it, several New York tourism Web sites provided images from Ground Zero and
information on how to get tickets for the viewing platform next to information about hotel
discounts (Digitalcity.com, 2002; Virtualtourist.com, 2002; NewYork.com, 2002).
Even the official New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site acknowledged
the transformation of Ground Zero into a tourist attraction: besides providing links for booking
hotels and details on restaurants and museums, a link to information on the viewing platform was
created. This was just a small part of the marketing strategy of the NYC & Company
19
Web
site, which in many ways transformed the tragedy into the primary reason for visiting New York.
At the top of its home page it stated, ’New York would like to thank you for your thoughts and
generosity by offering very special travel values. During Paint the Town Red White & Blue,
individual hotels, museums, attractions, restaurants, and stores offer special values through
February 28.’
20
Recognizing how the city used the increased sense of patriotism to sell itself is not to
condemn it for exploiting a tragedy. For one thing, any tourism they gained from this strategy
would not make up for the enormous economic loss that resulted from the September11 attacks.
The point is to see how the symbols that circulate in the media can reshape the dominant image
of a city, and marketers of tourism may find these symbols and the meanings that accompany
them to be useful. Moreover, if the city did not take advantage of these symbols--firefighters, the
American flag, Ground Zero--the Internet allowed tourists to find other organizations that used
them in their promotions. Official visitors bureaus can either use the symbols that are circulating
or potentially lose the symbols’ values to others.
21


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