Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Caryn E. Medved


The purpose of this research is to detail a case study of U.S. tourism to Cuba in a politicized context; specifically, to compare and contrast the Obama and Trump administrations. This study seeks to examine how the Cuban “brand” and the island’s overall tourism strategy is formulated, circulated, shaped and reshaped by various actors and the public in the changing context of the newly antagonistic bilateral U.S.-Cuba political relationship. The research questions explore issues of how diplomatic relations impact Cuban tourism and advertising messaging. This paper also discusses the changes in the U.S. news media coverage of Cuba as a destination after the announcements of 17 December 2014, between 2015-2016 (the last two years of the Obama administration) and 2017-2018 (the first two years of the Trump administration).

Results from a multi-method case study are provided along with a discussion of key findings, limitations and future directions for research.



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