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  • How different the world would be had countries not reopened their borders to welcome tourists after conflict, thus providing opportunities for travelers to learn, understand, and overcome potential stereotypes and negative perceptions of a countrys residents and environment. This study reveals preliminary results of an education initiative focused on understanding, addressing, and overcoming negative perceptions, with the possibility of creating interest in, and opportunities for, a revitalization of tourism in Afghanistan. The study offers contact theory as a way to present organic images of a place to help create perceptions of destinations that are more accurate than induced images. Results revealed that contact theory, through intergroup dialogue between residents of two countries with noted historic conflict, provided the means for reducing cultural ambiguity and overcoming stereotypes. The findings offer implications for both the tourism and education sectors and suggest that intergroup dialogue may be key to increasing visit intentions and, most importantly, enhancing a destinations image after conflict.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Travel Research

altmetric score

  • 9.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Durko, A., & Petrick, J.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Durko, Angela||Petrick, James

publication date

  • November 2016