Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Juan Miguel Kanai

Second Committee Member

Jan Nijman

Third Committee Member

George Yudice


Miami’s marketers have a long and successful history of creating and recreating imagery that draws visitors towards the "magic city" or the "tropical playground". This thesis investigates Miami’s marketing and its roots by analyzing the role and legacy of segregation in order to examine how tourism and its image relate to issues of exclusion and inequality. An inclusive rethinking of the definitions and usage of culture is then advocated as an important theoretical shift that could benefit development and revitalization in the city’s economically poorest neighborhoods. Analysis (through case studies, semi-structured interviews and GIS analysis) then shows how historic patterns of exclusion and adverse incorporation, especially in regard to tourism, are reproduced in much of Miami’s contemporary marketing, with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) playing an important role in this process. The Black community especially suffers greater levels of exclusion from Miami’s tourism and marketing and therefore has the most to gain from a shift in policy and perception. Community-based cultural tourism has functioned in various US cities as a tool to assist urban revitalization however Miami has yet to implement such a program. The results of this research suggest a number of recommendations for cultural tourism’s implementation in Miami, emphasizing the need for a community-based coalition of non-profit organizations utilizing governmental, marketing and creative/artistic partnerships.


Cultural tourism; social exclusion; adverse incorporation; Miami; Social History