Storytelling for mythmaking in tourist destinations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Myths can be part of the established narratives of tourist destinations: they offer a perspective on reality that may alter it but that makes it also more insightful by highlighting its inner contradictions and idiosyncrasies and challenging the universal values underlying it. This altered perspective on a place ensures visitors will feel touched by the myth and connected to the place, and the myth itself will be retold. In this paper, we discuss how we have connected narrative to story and story to myth to (re)tell the narratives of people and places and to enhance, in this way, the overall visitor experience in (tourist) destinations. We review two storytelling/placemaking projects that were commissioned to us by several regional, tourism organizations in Brabant, a province in the South of the Netherlands. The projects are: Becoming Vincent, a project about Vincent van Gogh; and Crossroads, a project about heritage from WWII. The aim of these projects was to draft a unique, narrative concept and design storylines that would link and upgrade the sites related to that heritage to eventually attract tourists there, and/or to stimulate visitors to visit more sites connected to the same theme. Finally, we draw lessons we learnt from these projects and highlight the insights we gained in the use of storytelling for mythmaking in tourist destinations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-643
Number of pages14
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2021


  • Mythmaking
  • placemaking
  • storytelling
  • tourist destinations


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