Social media in tourism: a visual analytic approach
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This research note seeks to examine a vast amount of tourism-related Chinese social media posts using a visual analytic approach. Visual analytics turns information overload into an opportunity. In this case, the mainstream Chinese microblog service, Sina Weibo, was selected as it generates large volumes of data, representing significant consumer insights, that are challenging to analyse by other common research methods. The most frequently reposted tourist visa news in the first eight months of 2014 were harvested and used as a case study. Findings from this study demonstrate that a visual analytic approach can offer insights into the impact of travel news on Chinese consumers. These insights include potential tourist generating regions, the life span of travel news, and tourists’ attitudes towards travel policy changes. Such insights provide important implications for scholars and practitioners, such as enabling real-time decisions of Destination Management Organizations’ social media marketing strategies in China.
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