This article discusses a change in the positioning strategies by countries as tourism destinations from cognitive components to affective ones. The tourism literature recognizes destination personality as an affective evaluation. While previous literature has established that place personality traits are important for Destination Marketing Organizations to consider, little empirical work assessing the personality metaphor in destination branding has been undertaken. This study uses a multistage methodology using a combination of content analysis and correspondence analysis to analyze the use of the personality metaphor in the official English tourism websites of South American countries. Results reveal that South American countries can be classified in four main clusters of different personality profiles: Ecuador is somehow associated with agreeableness; Brazil and Paraguay with openness to experience and conscientiousness; Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay as strong in extraversion and emotional stability; and Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia do not display any dominant personality characteristics. Overall the results indicate that South American countries are not yet using in a substantial way the affective cues of personality traits to create a clear positioning among international tourists.

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Keywords Big Five, content and correspondence analysis, destination branding, destination personality, DMO, positioning, South American tourism websites
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Journal Journal of Vacation Marketing
Rojas-Mendez, J, & Hine, M.J. (2017). Countries’ positioning on personality traits: Analysis of 10 South American national tourism websites. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 23(3), 233–247. doi:10.1177/1356766716649227