Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Public Relations (Communication)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Don W. Stacks

Second Committee Member

Bruce Garrison

Third Committee Member

Michelle Seelig


With the development of Chinese tourism during the past few decades, China has become one of the top destinations of American travelers. National Geographic Magazine is a representative in foreign destination portrayals. However, there was little research on the portrayal of Chinese destinations in U.S. magazines. This research paper was aimed at providing a consensus of Chinese destination portrayals in National Geographic, using the method of content analysis. All 111 articles in National Geographic from the years 1980 to 2013 were studied, which yielded 896 photographs. The cultural aspect of Chinese destinations was a dominant theme used by most of the articles and the photographs. Future researches could use this paper as a starting point to evaluate the effectiveness of the portrayal of Chinese destinations, and make comparisons to the portrayals of other destinations.


Chinese Destination Portrayals; National Geographic