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Über dieses Buch

This open access book is the proceedings of the International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism (IFITT)’s 28th Annual International eTourism Conference, which assembles the latest research presented at the ENTER21@yourplace virtual conference January 19–22, 2021. This book advances the current knowledge base of information and communication technologies and tourism in the areas of social media and sharing economy, technology including AI-driven technologies, research related to destination management and innovations, COVID-19 repercussions, and others. Readers will find a wealth of state-of-the-art insights, ideas, and case studies on how information and communication technologies can be applied in travel and tourism as we encounter new opportunities and challenges in an unpredictable world.



Part I: Technology


Open Access

The Evolution of Chatbots in Tourism: A Systematic Literature Review

In the last decade, Information and Communication Technologies have revolutionized the tourism and hospitality sector. One of the latest innovations shaping new dynamics and fostering a remarkable behavioral change in the interaction between the service provider and the tourist is the employment of increasingly sophisticated chatbots. This work analyzes the most recent systems presented in the literature (since 2016) investigated via 12 research questions. The often appreciated quick evolution of such solutions is the primary outcome. However, such technological and financial fast-pace requires continuous investments, upskilling, and system innovation to tackle the eTourism challenges, which are shifting towards new dimensions.

Davide Calvaresi, Ahmed Ibrahim, Jean-Paul Calbimonte, Roland Schegg, Emmanuel Fragniere, Michael Schumacher

Open Access

Blockchain Technology’s Potential for Sustainable Tourism

Achieving sustainable tourism is a process that focuses on numerous goals and faces many challenges. The advent of disruptive technology like blockchain could help to tackle some challenges in sustainable tourism development and address its goals. This conceptual paper aims to discuss how blockchain technology could contribute to sustainable tourism. Precisely, the authors investigate the potential benefits of blockchain technology to disrupt tourism operations and boost local economy, manage food supply chain and mitigate food waste, achieve tourists’ satisfaction, affect the tourists’ sustainable behaviour, and address awareness rise issues. The authors conclude that blockchain technology has a potential to contribute to sustainable tourism development as well as the SDGs and propose the directions for future research.

Inessa Tyan, Mariemma I. Yagüe, Antonio Guevara-Plaza

Open Access

In-room Voice-Based AI Digital Assistants Transforming On-Site Hotel Services and Guests’ Experiences

Voice-based artificial intelligence (AI) devices transform human-computer bidirectional interactions with new touchpoints. Despite the recent release of purpose-developed in-room voice assistants for hotels, they have not been widely deployed by hospitality companies. There is limited research on the phenomenon of voice-based digital assistants and a research gap in their adoption by hotels for automating workflows and enhancing guests’ experiences. This study analysed the role of voice devices for mediating interactions between hotels and guests from both the hospitality technology providers’ and guests’ perspectives. This was done by the means of inductive qualitative research using 28 semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed that benefits associated with the application of voice-based digital assistants in hospitality outweigh the drawbacks for both hotels and guests. The paper proposes a model which illustrates the essence of speech-based interactions between hotels and guests via voice assistants. This concept contributes to human-computer interactions in the hotel industry.

Dimitrios Buhalis, Iuliia Moldavska

Open Access

Next-POI Recommendations Matching User’s Visit Behaviour

We consider the urban tourism scenario, which is characterized by limited availability of information about individuals’ past behaviour. Our system goal is to identify relevant next Points of Interest (POIs) recommendations. We propose a technique that addresses the domain requirements by using clusters of users’ visits trajectories that show similar visit behaviour. Previous analysis clustered visit trajectories by aggregating trajectories that contain similar POIs. We compare our approach with a next-item recommendation state-of-the-art Neighbour-based model. The results show that customizing recommendations for clusters of users’ with similar behaviour yields superior performance on different quality dimensions of the recommendation.

David Massimo, Francesco Ricci

Open Access

Assessing Online Sustainability Communication of Italian Cultural Destinations – A Web Content Mining Approach

Online sustainability communication attracts a considerable attention in tourism research. This study focuses on sustainability communication in official destination websites for informing and motivating visitors to adopt sustainable practices and behaviors. To advance previous research in this area, it adopts a web content mining approach to assess the characteristics of online contents of a sample of 20 Italian cultural destinations. The main dimensions and typologies of sustainability-oriented practices in tourism are used as basis to develop a text classifier for the automated content analysis. A total of 2.975 web pages from official city websites and official tourism promotion websites of the destinations is analyzed through this approach to investigate the online contents relating to the environmental, economic, socio-cultural and general dimensions sustainability as well as their emotional appeal. The analysis reveals that about 15.8% of total online texts contains information to promote sustainability-oriented behaviors at the destination. It indicates that the communication is more specifically focused on environmental/economic/socio-cultural practices than generically referring to sustainable/responsible tourism. However, in line with previous research, it highlights that destinations do not sufficiently balance these pillars in their online communication. Further, the websites’ texts scarcely leverage the persuasive potential of affective appealing messages. The implications of this automated approach for improving the design of online sustainability-related contents are also discussed.

Valentina Marchi, Valentina Apicerni, Alessandra Marasco

Open Access

Technostress Among Hotel Employees - a Longitudinal Study of Social Media as Digital Service Encounters

The increasing implementation of digital technologies in organizations such as social media platforms is fundamentally transforming the nature of services encounters [1, 2], not least in the hospitality industry. This causes new ways of working for hotel employees, causing disruption in service routines and work tasks. There are few qualitative studies that are focusing on the hospitality industry and technostress. The present study focus on technostress among employees in an international hotel chain. Data have been collected in eight European countries over a period of seven years. The Person-Technology fit model is used in order to identify and analyze stressors and strains deriving from social media use. The results indicate that techno stressors such as work overload, work-life conflict, and changing algorithms creates negative stressors. The study makes a theoretical contribution to technostress research in the Information Systems research as well as the hospitality research field by uncovering negative stressors and strains created over time.

Karin Högberg

Open Access

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Future of Tourism Industry: The Practice in China

In the future, artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to substantially change both the tourism industry and tourist behavior. At present, research on artificial intelligence and tourism is receiving widespread attention, but most of them focus on a certain subject or a specific aspect of the tourism industry. For example, artificial intelligence influences the behavior of tourists and tourism enterprises. The analysis of the impact of artificial intelligence on the tourism industry as a system is still insufficient. Therefore, this research proposes a multi-dimensional framework from an industry perspective based on the existing definition of artificial intelligence. The framework involves three aspects: the level of intelligence, task types, and whether artificial intelligence is embedded in robots. The authors use a large number of Chinese practice cases to investigate how AI affects the tourism industry, then put forward a research agenda to analyze how destination government, tourism enterprises and tourist experience will change in the future. Finally, they highlight important issues related to privacy, prejudice and ethics.

Yanzheng Tuo, Lanyu Ning, Aiyuan Zhu

Open Access

Co-creating Personalised Experiences in the Context of the Personalisation-Privacy Paradox

The personalisation-privacy paradox demonstrates a two-fold effect of tourists’ awareness about personalisation on their experience. Compulsory personal data agreements under the GDPR and similar legislation acts raise tourists’ concerns regarding privacy and security. The role of tourist awareness about the value of data-driven personalisation in their co-creation behaviour remains underexplored. This paper applies an exploratory experiment methodology to identify the effects of information about personalisation on tourists’ experience with travel information websites. It triangulates the data from eye-tracking and self-report techniques, to compare the co-creating behaviour of respondents who have or have not been informed about the value of personalisation. The study demonstrates the presence of a personalisation-privacy paradox. It further reveals that awareness about data-driven personalisation motivates tourists to reinforce value co-creation by ensuring the accuracy of information filtering. The study advances our understanding of tourist digital behaviour and provides insights for the design of personalised information services.

Katerina Volchek, Joanne Yu, Barbara Neuhofer, Roman Egger, Mattia Rainoldi

Open Access

A Platform for Difficulty Assessment and Recommendation of Hiking Trails

In recent years, the popularity of hiking has steadily increased across different segments of the population. Although there is considerable evidence of the benefits for hikers regarding physical and mental health, the inherent risks of these outdoor activities cannot be underestimated. Accident prevention and an increase of awareness about possible risks are necessary to minimize hiking and pedestrian tourism’s negative consequences. In most hiking information maps and interactive applications, there is usually not enough information about difficulty points or the granularity level required to provide tailored recommendations to hikers with physical or psychological limitations. In this paper, we present Syris, a geo-information system for hiking itineraries that incorporates Points-Of-Difficulty to assess the level of effort, technique, and risk of hiking trails. The system allows users to filter itineraries and obtain recommendations based on the assessment of difficulty following a well-established methodology. The system has been implemented, deployed and tested with real data in the region of Val d’Anniviers in Switzerland, and is openly available to enable further developments and refinement.

Jean-Paul Calbimonte, Simon Martin, Davide Calvaresi, Alexandre Cotting

Open Access

A Study on the Factors Affect the Technology Satisfaction on AI Based Self-service Technology Service Failure in Hotel

The advancement of technology following the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the surge in demand for untact services caused by COVID-19 will gradually expand the scope of service automation through artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. In practice, numerous hotels are adopting AI-based service technologies, but it is still in its early stage to provide guidelines for the overall service strategy for this technology. Therefore, this study conducted a study on the failure of AI based self-service technologies (SSTs), service recovery, and the psychological expectations of customers’ SST. An online survey was conducted on respondents who had experience using AI based SSTs, and a total of 370 responses were used for analysis. As a result of structural model analysis through AMOS, it was found that adequate service recovery and low expectations for SSTs were satisfied with SSTs and hotels as a result, even if service failures were experienced. These findings provide specific practical guidelines for many hotels promoting AI-based service automation.

Lu QianTing, Hee Chung Chung, Namho Chung

Open Access

The Role of Perceived Technology and Consumers’ Personality Traits for Trust Transfer in Airbnb

Airbnb is widely popular among tourists around the world and in the hospitality industry. With Airbnb being a sharing economy and a type of e-commerce platform, consumers’ trust in it is an important issue. This study proposed three information technology factors affecting trust in Airbnb from positive and negative aspects. Personality traits affecting trust in Airbnb and its hosts are also put forward. Using data collected from Chinese Airbnb users, this study applied the structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the proposed hypotheses. Results suggest various implications for Airbnb and similar sharing economy platforms.

Cirenzhuoga, Juyeon Ham, Namho Chung

Part II: Innovation


Open Access

Finding Meaning Through Travel Journaling: A Strength-Based Approach

This study explores how technology-mediated journaling can support memorable and meaningful tourism experiences (MMEs). The digital photo is the most common medium for travelers to keep a record of memorable and meaningful moments and share them via social media. We explore the potential of using these footprints for travelers to connect the implicit dimensions of their well-being. In particular, we draw reference from positive psychology, which emphasizes that human well-being is rooted in people’s implicit personal factors and psychological needs such as character strengths, motives, and values. Making the implicit explicit may help people to make a wiser choice that matches their own aspirations. To support people in (re)creating meaningful narratives, we created a proof-of-concept prototype by incorporating character strengths into the design of a digital journaling platform. This study involved ten participants and each of them created at least five MME narratives from their past journeys. In this article, we discuss the design concerns for such a platform and examine the effectiveness of the platform in producing meaningful narrative by collecting participant feedback, and looking into the character strengths that the participants draw upon in their MMEs. The result suggests that not only the platform supports the reminiscing of MMEs, but the narration also deepened their self-awareness and allowed the participants to connect their behaviors with their personality traits and implicit values. Some participants were able to identify meanings that were hitherto obscured to them. Implications for quantified travelers and smart tourism are discussed.

C. K. Bruce Wan, Cees J. P. M. de Bont, Paul Hekkert, Kenny K. N. Chow

Open Access

Loyalty Programs and Direct Website Performance: An Empirical Analysis of Global Hotel Brands

With loyalty programs increasingly used as a competitive method by hotel brands, this study investigates the relationship between program size/satisfaction and brand direct website performance. Analyzing a unique database of loyalty program statistics, traffic levels/sources and engagement metrics from the top 50 global hotel brands, we find that size matters, with larger programs performing better in terms of both traffic and engagement, suggesting that efforts by hotel brands to grow membership are appropriate. Similarly, program satisfaction positively impacts both traffic levels and engagement, suggesting that brands should also focus on ensuring that existing members are happy with program benefits and operations. These findings are consistent irrespective of brand level, suggesting that all types of hotel brands can profit from leveraging loyalty programs.

Peter O’Connor

Open Access

Effect of Personal Innovativeness on Technology Adoption in Hospitality and Tourism: Meta-analysis

This study synthesizes existing empirical results about the effect of personal innovativeness on the intention to use technology in hospitality and tourism studies published from January 2010 to March 2020 via meta-analysis. The meta-analysis with a random effects model was conducted on 29 effect sizes of this relationship documented in 28 studies collected from over 7,000 search results on Google Scholar and Scopus. The results of the analysis suggest a significant positive medium effect of personal innovativeness on the intention to use technology in hospitality and tourism research with the overall effect size (ESr) of .38 (95% CI = .32, .44, z = 10.62, p = .001). The study also found that the effect does not change significantly across industries (hotels, restaurants, and tourism and travel), types of technology by task (with transaction function and without transaction function), age groups (younger than 30 years old and 30 years old and older), and power distance cultural differences of the respondents (high-power distance and low-power distance cultures). Based on the results of this study, the authors suggest adding personal innovativeness as a construct in technology adoption models in future research in hospitality and tourism studies and continue investigating potential moderations that could explain variations in effect sizes of the impact of personal innovativeness on the technology adoption intention across different populations. From the industry perspective, hospitality and tourism organizations may rely on customers with high perceived innovativeness to serve as change agents and drive customer adoption of new technology.

Olena Ciftci, Katerina Berezina, Minsoo Kang

Open Access

A Netnographic Study of Consumer Value in Slow Travel

Travelling by land is a phenomenon that utilizes different surface transport modes, such as trains, buses, bicycles etc. The slow travel contributes also to the concerns about ecological footprint and climate change derived from air travel. Slow travel aims to encourage individuals to travel to their destinations more slowly, stay for a longer period in the chosen destination, and travel less. For slow travellers, travelling to the destination is a significant part of the travel experience. The qualitative research aimed to understand the phenomena of travelling by land and the tourist experience holistically using a netnographic approach. The data was collected from the Finnish Facebook -group, Maata pitkin matkustavat. (Those who travel by land) in January 2020. The data consisted of 185 posts and their comments. The goal of the data analysis was to understand the role of consumer value in the slow travel experience. The research findings show the importance of minimizing travel time and the costs of travelling by land. Also, leisure time, and “having fun” are valued in travelling by land experience. Thus, self-oriented, active value components, Efficiency, and Play, were most applicable in the collected data set. These findings help us to understand slow travel as a tourism experience better and provide important insights into the requirements to develop consumer-centric slow travel for sustainable development in the future.

Veera Riikonen, Juho Pesonen, Johanna Heinonen

Open Access

Gen Z and Esports: Digitizing the Live Event Brand

As digitization converges with globalization, industries across the world establish new standards, platforms and audience engagement methods to delight consumers adjusting to CV19’s virtual space. Within the Tourism and Hospitality industry, gamification provides the events and meetings sector an opportunity to implement hybrid events at a level unseen before. Esports is the newest standard of gamification for hybrid, both live and virtual, events. However, within this new standard, there is a large knowledge gap among event organizers of how to execute an esport experience and why esports dominance is necessary to incorporate into hospitality and tourism models. Through understanding esports’ majority consumer, Gen Z, and accurately reflecting esports culture, event organizers will assist the tourism economy through prosperous esport events.

Rebecca de Freitas

Open Access

Coworking and Coliving: The Attraction for Digital Nomad Tourists

The study facilitates digital nomadism for tourism research and recognizes a unique product offer on the market: the combined coworking and coliving space in compelling or exotic destinations. The aim of the study is to explore the experience of coworking and coliving by digital nomads and identify valuable elements. Qualitative interview data are used to analyse combined coworking and coliving space environments from the perspective of digital nomad tourists. A better understanding of digital nomad preferences may help destinations and business owners to attract digital nomads during and after the pandemic. The study’s findings, perceived advantages and disadvantages of coworking and coliving spaces, may serve as a guideline for targeting digital nomads.

Ekaterina Chevtaeva

Open Access

Mobile Payments, Chinese Tourists, and Host Residents: Are Destination Stakeholders Prepared to Facilitate Mobile Payments?

Mobile payment has become ubiquitous worldwide. It is a form of digital payment activity performed on-site from a mobile device (i.e. smartphone) for the purchase of goods and services using QR or NFC (contactless and proximity card) technology. This study examines destination stakeholders’ level of engagement and involvement in facilitating mobile payments (e.g., AliPay and WeChat Pay) for Chinese tourists. Sabah (Malaysian-Borneo), a popular island destination in Southeast Asia, was selected as the study site. Using a qualitative approach, 25 tourism and hospitality industry practitioners participated in a semi-structured, in-depth interview between February to July 2020. Preliminary results revealed that industry practitioners had been actively seeking to implement mobile payment facilities since late-2017, specifically in the retail sector, as they felt the pressure in accommodating the needs of Chinese tourists. This study offers insights into how industry practitioners address local consumers’ shift in payment usage-behaviours; from traditional forms of payments (e.g., cash and credit card) to mobile payments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tania Maria Tangit, Rob Law

Open Access

Airbnb Host’s Perceptions on Airbnb Customer Social Responsibility and Organizational Justice in Airbnb 2.0

In a peer-to-peer transaction of the sharing economy, an Airbnb host is a worker as well as a service provider. From this perspective, this study explores how Airbnb hosts’ perception of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and organizational justice impact their customer orientation directly and indirectly via job satisfaction and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB). The results highlight the importance of a host’s perception of Airbnb’s CSR and organizational justice. The results provide various implications for online accommodation businesses and guidance for future research.

Xiao Rui Tie, Hyunae Lee, Namho Chung

Open Access

Robo-Tipping: Are Customers Game?

This study sought to investigate customer attitudes towards tipping robotic employees in bars. A convenience sample of participants who were 21 years of age or older and who had patronized a bar was recruited using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform. Of the 102 usable responses, only 15 participants had experienced robotic bartender service. Only 11 individuals (10.8%) in total said they would tip a robot; 10 of those were respondents who had acutally experienced robotic bartenders, representing 67% of that subsample. Participants listed efficiency and required maintenance as reasons for giving a tip to a robotic bartender. Out of 91 respondents who initially declined to tip a robotic bartender, 38 study participants (41.8%) agreed to tip if they knew that the collected funds would go to human employees. However, in the same group of respondents, only 14 (15.4%) agreed to tip in the scenario when tipping would serve as a learning experience for a robot to understand customer preferences. The rationale for not tipping included such reasoning as robots are machines that do not need extra income and cannot appreciate the gesture. This study suggests that explaining how the collected funds will be used may positively impact consumer intentions to tip a robotic bartender. This extra revenue may help offset the cost of the robot, and subsequently lower the prices of the drinks served at a robotic bar, thus making the product more affordable for a wider audience.

Lisa Cain, Katerina Berezina

Part III: Social Media and User Generated Content


Open Access

Tourist Experiences at Overcrowded Attractions: A Text Analytics Approach

As a result of travel activities, overtourism has become a global issue. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of overtourism would benefit localized overcrowding as a new occurrence in the tourism industry. Since there is no specific measurement to evaluate tourist experiences at crowded attractions, this study aims to explore the perception and feelings of tourists when they visit popular and crowded attractions through topic modeling and sentiment analysis based on TripAdvisor online reviews as of the end of 2019. By investigating the top 10 attractions in Paris, the results present 24 topics frequently discussed by tourists. Examples of some topics related to overtourism are safety, service, queuing, and social interaction. Specifically, tourists felt the most negative towards safety and security among all the identified topics. By bridging overtourism, text analytics, and user-generated-content, this study contributes to the field of tourist experiences and crowd management.

Joanne Yu, Roman Egger

Open Access

The Implicit and Explicit Motivations of Tourist Behaviour in Sharing Travel Photographs on Instagram: A Path and Cluster Analysis

Instagram has been an emerging platform for tourists to share their experiences and connect with other users in the multiphasic travel stages. Despite the huge number of photographs shared on Instagram on a daily basis, it remains ambiguous regarding the underlying motives of tourists’ posting behaviour. Thus, this study aims to conceptualise a framework based on the internal and external triggers of sharing travel photographs through a mix methods design involving diary studies and questionnaires. By conducting a path analysis, this study presents and validates a theoretical model including various motivational factors; namely enjoyment, self-esteem, recognition, interests, social norms, goals, social ties, social status and prestige, self-efficiency, outcome expectations and memorabilia. Meanwhile, this research clusters young techsavvy tourists into four distinct segments based on their behaviour of using Instagram while traveling. By bridging motivational theories, social psychology, and social media in the context of tourism, this research extends literature related to user-generated content and Instagram. Practically, this research allows marketers to optimise the effectiveness of marketing strategies based on the characteristics of tourists and their behaviour on social media platforms.

Jennifer Daxböck, Maria Laura Dulbecco, Sintija Kursite, Tommy Kristoffer Nilsen, Andrada Diana Rus, Joanne Yu, Roman Egger

Open Access

Dreaming About Travel: A Pinterest Netnography

Ongoing travel information search remains under-examined in general, and specifically in terms of social media use. Understanding how visual social media platforms inspire travel dreams is increasingly pertinent as visual contents gain in importance. This is especially relevant when travel is restricted, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pinterest seems to be ideally suited for supporting ongoing search but has been rarely used as a data source in e-tourism research. This paper uses a netnographic approach to explore travel-related Pinterest data. From a methodological perspective, it finds that the platform is suitable for informing ongoing travel information search research but points to potential methodological challenges. As a theoretical contribution, it highlights the popularity of capturing travel dreams through Pinterest boards and illustrates the affective labor users put into their collections of travel dreams. The paper concludes with implications for tourism marketing and recommender system design.

Ulrike Gretzel

Open Access

Cultural Traits in the Consumption of Luxury Hotel Services

An Exploratory Analysis Through Online Reviews Data

This study investigates luxury hotel guests’ online reviews to explore how ratings, language and sentiment differ according to guests’ culture of origin. The study considers three large cultural groups (Asian, North American, and European) examining hotel guests in their reviews to identify the most recurring themes in association with luxury tourism.The study uses automated text analysis to explore 16,415 hotel reviews from 22 luxury hotel brands belonging to nine global hotel chains located across six European cities over a period of 10 years. In particular, this exploratory study combines LIWC, Leximancer and SPSS analytic tools to shed light on: i) the extent luxury hotel guests’ reviews vary in terms of rating, language metrics and sentiment according to reviewers’ culture of origin; ii) the main themes of luxury hotel service discussed by guests, of different cultures of origin, in their reviews.The main findings reveal that Asians guests are particularly analytical when reviewing online and are the less satisfied about their stays in luxury hotels in Europe. North Americans are the most satisfied luxury hotel guests; however, their reviews show low level of sentiment descriptions. Instead, Europeans embed more sentiment when posting a review. The three cultures examined also tend to associate luxury to different attributes.

David D’Acunto, Serena Volo

Open Access

Exploring the Impact of Heuristic Attributes of Electronic Word of Mouth on Accommodation Sharing Platforms

With the rapid development of the sharing economy, accommodation sharing is a growing trend across the global. Consumers’ feelings, opinions, praises, and even criticisms regarding accommodations can be easily posted and shared via review sharing platforms. Word of mouth (WOM) breaks through the oral communication between people, and further turns out to be a more communicative and influential form, electronic word of mouth (eWOM). An empirical approach is applied to explore the relationship between eWOM attributes of accommodation sharing and accommodation popularity on More specifically, the three heuristic factors of eWOM (i.e., house, review, and host attributes) are identified to influence accommodation popularity, and rental and host types are additionally considered moderating variables to better understand these relationships. This study would provide valuable suggestions for accommodation platform managers and hosts to design more popular accommodations.

Yuwan Wang, Lin Li, Sung-Byung Yang

Open Access

How Reliable Is Social Media Data? Validation of TripAdvisor Tourism Visitations Using Independent Data Sources

Social media data has been rapidly applied as alternative data source for tourism statistics and measurement in recent years due to its availability, easy collection, good spatial coverage at multiple scales, and rich content. However, frequent criticism towards the social media is the bias towards the population of social media users leading to unknown representativeness of the entire population. The purpose of this study is to cross-validate the reliability and validity of visitation pattern of tourist destinations retrieved from the social media using alternative independent data sources. The primary social media data is TripAdvisor reviews of Florida attraction points, restaurants, and hotels. The inferred visitation pattern was validated against two independent datasets: cellphone tracking data and official visitor surveys. The validity was explored in tourist origins, destinations, and travel flows. Repetitively, travel patterns inferred from the social media were found strongly correlated to those from cellphone tracking and surveys. The visitation data obtained from social media was concluded to be reliable and representative.

Shihan Ma, Andrei Kirilenko

Open Access

Do Tourists from Different Countries Interpret Travel Experience with the Same Feeling? Sentiment Analysis of TripAdvisor Reviews

National parks attract millions of tourists to enjoy the beauty of nature. The opinions and feelings expressed by tourists in their reviews through social media significantly impact other visitors’ tourism-related decisions. Notably, tourists from different countries visiting the same park may express different sentiments and post different experiences. It is not clear if those differences could be attributed to the differences in sentiment analysis software for different languages, or they reflect existing variability in culturally defined tourists’ sentiments. To address this question, this study analyzed 27,177 TripAdvisor Grand Canyon, US reviews from visitors arriving from ten different countries with the goal of identification of sentiment differences. We found that while all reviews tend to be positive, there are significant regional differences with European and Japanese tourists routinely expressing lesser satisfaction from their visit. We also found differences in the sentiment expressed in different regions of the same country, such as the north and south of Italy. Overall, we suggest that social media reflects the real differences in the sentiment of visitors coming from different origins.

Luyu Wang, Andrei P. Kirilenko

Open Access

The Impact of Crisis Characteristics and Media Coverage on the Public’s Attitude Toward Tourism Organization Expressed on Sina Weibo

Tourism and hospitality crises that are extensively discussed online are damaging to organizational image and reputation; therefore, choosing effective response strategies is of paramount importance for service providers. The online discussions data from six hospitality and tourism related crises were used to test which crisis and media coverage characteristics significantly affected the public’s emotional and behavioral reactions to crises. With reference to the attribution theory and the situational crisis communication theory, this study identified the potentially influential crisis characteristics, hypothesized their relationship with variables describing consumer reactions to crises, and then tested those relationships in a series of ANOVA and hierarchical regression analyses. Results indicated that the locus of control, crisis stability, attribution of organizational responsibility, and organizational response strategy affected the public’s cognitive and emotional responses to crises most strongly. The attractiveness and goodwill of media sources also had an effect, as well as the quality and fairness of messages. This study makes a methodological contribution to tourism research by training machine-learning classifiers prior to conducting hypothesis testing. Identifying the most influential factors affecting the public’s response to crises can serve as guidelines for tourism and hospitality organizations in monitoring the spread of online crisis discussions and developing the most appropriate response in order to minimize consumers’ negative emotions that affect online and off-line behavior toward the organization and its brand.

Lijuan Su, Svetlana Stepchenkova

Open Access

HOTFRED: A Flexible Hotel Fake Review Detection System

The importance to cope with online fake reviews in Tourism becomes more and more evident. In the hotel sector hoteliers as well as guests often struggle with the challenges to separate true and fake reviews from each other. Therefore, our research introduces HOTFRED - a flexible hotel fake review detection system - as part of an on-going research project. By combining different analytical approaches, the HOTFRED system indicates via an aggregated probability whether a review is true or fake. As the evaluation of the prototypical implementation showed, this approach can support to detect fake reviews. Many different stakeholders in the Tourism sector can profit from this automatic tool. Thus, hoteliers can take measures to safe their reputation, guests can benefit in their decision-making process and research might use the tool as an initial starting point for future research in the area of fake information.

Michael Möhring, Barbara Keller, Rainer Schmidt, Matthias Gutmann, Scott Dacko

Open Access

Contextual Effects of Online Review Recency: Three Research Propositions

Online reviews are influential information sources for tourists in trip planning and related decision-making. How tourists process online reviews is context-specific, so the effects of online reviews on their perceptions or decision-making are affected by different contextual factors. Building on the literature on information recency, this research note discusses recency as an important information component of online reviews and explores a range of contextual factors that affect online review recency in terms of its role in information search and processing. Three propositions are suggested as the basis for future research. Implications for both theory development and managerial practice are also discussed.

Seunghun Shin, Zheng Xiang

Open Access

Information Characteristics on Instagram and Viewer Behavior

Image-based social media such as Instagram is actively used as a tourism marketing channel that provides information regarding tourist destinations. Recognizing the importance of viewers’ responses, this study investigated the relationship between viewers’ responsive behavior and the characteristics of texts and images posted on Instagram. The results of multiple regression analysis showed that certain emotional expressions in hashtags and images that include people are positively associated with the number of likes and comments. This study provides insights into social media utilization strategies and post-marketing strategies that are helpful for DMO (Destination Marketing Organization).

Eunmi Kim, Jae Eun (Francesca) Park, Jin-Young Kim, Chulmo Koo

Open Access

Meme Tourism: A Conceptual Framework

With advances in technology affordances, contents generated by individual tourists in the tourism context has become an influential source of tourism information besides contents channeled by traditional mass media such as newspapers and broadcasts. Specifically, Meme Tourism (i.e., meme phenomenon in tourism) becomes one of the biggest trends in imitating and transforming/evolving tourism contents online, which is a byproduct of participatory culture that use text and visual images as means of user-generated communications in online communities through the exchange, distribution, and transactions. Understanding the emerging phenomena of meme in tourism would provide insights on tourists’ desires and behaviors in modern traveling. This study conceptualizes three major perspectives in tourism; 1) media-induced tourism, 2) user-generated content, and 3) social media activities, reflecting meme phenomena in tourism. Given the foundation provided, this study calls for a new stream of study in tourism that examines desire, motivation, and behavior of tourists in technology-enabled modern travel culture.

Yerin Yhee, Jahyun Goo, Chulmo Koo

Part IV: Destinations


Open Access

Approach to Evaluating the Effect of an Inter-organizational Information System on Performance: The Case of a Destination Management Organization

This research proposes an approach to evaluate the contribution of an interorganizational information system (IOIS) to processes and organizational performance. Using a process-based framework, the approach was developed from a review of the IS evaluation literature and then refined through an in-depth embedded case study of an IOIS used by a destination management organization (DMO). The need for this research, comes from the significant investments in terms of capital and human resources and the numerous challenges that IOISs represent for DMOs. DMO’ IOISs are characterized by their interdependence between multiple stakeholders with sometimes contradictory interests. The approach developed here is of interest to researchers and practitioners in that it allows for a contextualization of IOIS system evaluation, and that it considers the depth and breadth of performance measures.

Marie Claire Louillet, François Bédard, Bertrand Dongmo Temgoua

Open Access

The Digitized Ecosystem of Tourism in Europe: Current Trends and Implications

Emerging digital technologies enable the creation of new services and business models, leading to ecosystems’ continuous change. In the tourism industry, new digital-savvy players like Airbnb have entered and created entirely new market segments, while many existing players are challenged to redefine their business logic. However, the literature does not provide a generic overview of the value network in tourism, including new market players, and their ways of interacting. Therefore, this paper develops a current overview of the value network of the European tourism ecosystem. By analyzing the business models and value streams of 704 European enterprises based on Crunchbase data, we identified 27 distinct roles and their respective interrelations in the domain. To validate the proposed value network, we conducted five expert interviews. Our results highlight the continuously growing importance of intermediaries in tourism. Furthermore, new technology players offer new opportunities for innovative services, creating high dynamism in the industry. Nonetheless, local entities, such as residents and communities, play a central role in European tourism and need to be included in experiences provided to tourists. Scholars and practitioners might use the results to identify disruptive actors and opportunities for innovation and niche creation. Additionally, the results can be used as a basis for further analysis of the ecosystem’s ongoing changes induced through technological advancements or external events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Norman Schaffer, Martin Engert, Guido Sommer, Jasmin Shokoui, Helmut Krcmar

Open Access

Measuring the Value of Social Media Marketing from a Destination Marketing Organization Perspective

Even though social media is one of the most significant marketing tools in tourism, the measurement of its value is still developing. Assessing return-on-investment on social media marketing is challenging. Thus, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are nonetheless pouring money and time in social media marketing without being aware of the results. In this study, we seek to understand what DMOs are measuring in social media marketing that they do and why. The qualitative data was gathered via semi-structured interviews among eight representatives of Finnish DMOs. The interview responses were analyzed with a theory-guided content analysis method. The results demonstrate that even though the goals for social media presence are clear, the actions taken are more of an experimental nature and undocumented. Only the basic metrics that the platforms automatically provide are used and the evaluation of financial value is difficult. However, social media marketing creates value beyond financial value. Non-measurable data like customer emotions and opinions in various channels are considered as important especially to understand customer engagement. Even though the evaluation of financial value is challenging the total value of social media marketing is considered extremely valuable. Social media marketing is utilized in decision-making by top management especially with the help of measurable data. In addition to this, non-measurable insights are utilized in product development and marketing planning.

Jonna Kumpu, Juho Pesonen, Johanna Heinonen

Open Access

Destination Imagery Diagnosis Model: The Case of Switzerland

This research investigates destination imagery of Switzerland as a travel destination. This research first conducted survey and content analysis to identify 23 unique statements reflecting travel in Switzerland. Through an online survey, this research collected 399 responses from French and Italian respondents. Based on the comparisons of association strength and association valence of every statement to the aggregated association strength and association valence, this research developed the Destination Imagery Diagnosis model. The results show that, overall, French and Italian respondents have strong and positive associations to statements related to Switzerland’s nature and opportunities for outdoor activities. Furthermore, respondents rated “Healthy lifestyle” and “Welcoming and friendly” positively but the associations to Switzerland were weaker. This research also identified marketing opportunities specifically for French and Italian respondents. The Destination Imagery Diagnosis Model serves as a new tool to compare destination imageries between markets or keep track of changes of destination imagery.

Meng-Mei Chen, Laura Zizka, Effie Ruiheng Zhang, Justine Gentinetta

Open Access

Tourism Management in Japan and Switzerland: Is Japan Leapfrogging Traditional DMO’s Models? A Research Agenda

Similarities may be seen in the development of tourism in Japan and Switzerland during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially in terms of the origins and purpose of their respective national tourism offices. In the twenty-first century, however, fundamental differences became evident. During the first decades of the twenty-first century, Switzerland, that had been quick to see the opportunities of e-tourism, was less dynamic in response to the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions, whereas the opposite happened in Japan. Switzerland as with Austria and Germany, adopted a traditional concept of DMO’s that was location-base and limited regionally by administrative boundaries. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) development after Web1.0 and the emergence of mobile applications have challenged this concept. A more contemporary view is based more on network travel and visitor flows rather than physical territory. The Japan Central government decided to adopt the western DMO concept as regional tourism policy, but relatively late in 2016.The aim of this innovative research project is to analyze the adoption/implementation of the new concept of DMO’s focusing on Switzerland and Japan. For Switzerland, the main barrier is the scarcity of data given the slower uptake of the technology emanating from the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions. In Japan, the situation may be seen to be inverted, given the country’s proclivity to adopt the advantages from the latest industrial revolution. This may mean that Japan could leapfrog the traditional DMO concept. This research presents the Bass’ analysis of DMO’s websites as a proxy of DMO concepts – traditional or new generation.

Miriam Scaglione, Yasuo Ohe, Colin Johnson

Open Access

Touristic Consumption as “Sitesharing”: Unpacking the Smart Tourism Paradigm from an Internet Studies Perspective

This paper presents a conceptual framework “sitesharing” for understanding touristic consumption within the smart tourism paradigm. Smart tourism considers the use of ICTs as beneficial and essential to the future of tourism. However, the integration of technological intermediaries with the sphere of tourism bears investigation in terms of the wider effects on tourism processes. Taking an interdisciplinary stance, the paper utilizes an internet studies perspective in order to examine the political, social, and cultural implications of the integration of ICTs within tourism. Through the exploration of three key metaphors drawn from across the fields of study: performance, place, and sharing; the paper considers how ICTs influence tourists’ consumption, telling, and experiencing of tourism. The framework of sitesharing argues that sharing, rather than seeing, becomes the requisite practice of tourists with concomitant changes in the form of tourist practice and the shape of tourist places. From the discussion, four emergent dimensions of sitesharing are presented with the intention of informing future tourism research.

Michelangelo Magasic

Open Access

The Pathway from Smartness to Sustainability: Exploring the Transmission Mechanisms

Smartness and sustainability have many points in common. Recent literature suggests that smartness would be a possibility to achieve the desired sustainability of tourist destinations. This article reviews the theoretical mechanisms that link both concepts and analyses their importance for a set of smart cities an destinations in Spain.

José F. Perles-Ribes, Josep A. Ivars-Baidal

Open Access

Discovering Cultural Differences Through Information Flow of National DMOs Websites

The purpose of the study is to investigate whether cultural differences are reflected in how destinations present themselves online by performing hyperlink network analysis of their official DMOs websites. The study examines whether variance in online presentation can be explained using well established theories on culture. To this end, hyperlink data were collected from three official tourism websites: Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) of South Korea, Brand USA of United States, and German National Tourist Board (GNTB) of Germany. The results show that the three hyperlink networks exhibit differences in size and structural properties. The information network of KTO tends to reflect collectivism, while those of Brand USA and GNTB reflect individualism. Blockmodeling analysis provides the grounds for further statistical approach.

Hyejin Park, Svetlana Stepchenkova

Open Access

A Conceptual Framework of Destination Sustainability in Sharing Economy

The introduction of the sharing economy has revolutionized resident-tourist relationships and provides further implications of destination sustainability. Built on several well-established theories, this conceptual study intends to develop a new and holistic framework to examine destination sustainability, focusing on the change of resident-tourist relationships. The framework is first guided by the stakeholder theory to identify the four key stakeholders in the new sharing economy context: residents, tourists, governments, and the sharing economy platform. With the collaboration theory and resource theory as a foundation, the framework then describes each stakeholder’s specific needs and resources. The service-dominant logic further supports service exchanges and value co-creation among stakeholders. The framework then adopts the capital theory approach to conceptualize destination sustainability in terms of human, social, natural and manufactured capital. Finally, three propositions are developed to justify the new peer-to-peer collaboration paradigm that leads to destination sustainability. The proposed framework is aligned with the six-pillar transformation in e-Tourism research and serves as an intelligent solution to destination sustainable development in the sharing economy context.

Huiying Zhang, Xi Yu Leung, Billy Bai

Open Access

Smart Tourism Cities’ Competitiveness Index: A Conceptual Model

As smart tourism cities are becoming a blur boundary between residents and tourists at a spatial place (e.g., urban city or destination), innovation and technologies should be integrated with tourism applications and urban infrastructure. The idea of smart tourism cities is generated as incorporating tourism business or tourism context into everyday life, opening up opportunities in daily life and travel. We need to explore a possible concept of smart tourism cities and how urban cities can play a role of the duality emphasizing on the blurring boundaries and allowing both residents and travelers to co-create the value of the urban cities’ competitiveness name as ‘smart tourism cities.’ This study aims to develop a competitiveness evaluation index for sustaining urban cities through tourism.

Namho Chung, Hyunae Lee, Juyeon Ham, Chulmo Koo

Part V: COVID-19


Open Access

Hear No Virus, See No Virus, Speak No Virus: Swiss Hotels’ Online Communication Regarding Coronavirus

Tourism is a lucrative business, and Swiss hotels rely heavily on international clientele to book their rooms. The Coronavirus pandemic has halted travel and hotel stays from March to June 2020. Based on Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT), this paper investigates the messages Swiss hotels have posted on their official websites and Facebook pages to reassure guests that it is safe to book rooms in Switzerland again. The findings from 73 independent 4 and 5-star hotels show that most hotels did not publish messages regarding the Coronavirus or the measures they have taken; instead, the hotels posted positive messages about reopening their rooms and services. Official hotel websites emphasized deals and offers while the Facebook pages concentrated on enthusiastic ‘welcome back’ messages. The findings presented here contribute to the literature by offering the first results of a larger project on communication during the de-confinement stage of a pandemic.

Laura Zizka, Meng-Mei Chen, Effie Zhang, Amandine Favre

Open Access

Virtual Reality as a Travel Substitution Tool During COVID-19

The pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has profoundly affected the global leisure and tourism industry, with international travel bans affecting over 90% of the world’s population. Widespread restrictions on community mobility have resulted in a projected decline of international tourism arrivals up to 30%. The rapid development of Virtual Reality (VR) and its effectiveness in the simulation of real-life experiences provides an opportunity for virtual holiday making especially when actual travel is not possible. Based on a quantitative study with 193 participants, the role of VR as a substitute for physical travel during the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 was examined, more specifically by looking at the relationship between perceived risk to travel and technological acceptance of VR. The findings suggest that tourists use VR as a travel substitute during and even after a pandemic. However, perceived risk does not play a significant role when it comes to using VR.

Daniel Sarkady, Larissa Neuburger, Roman Egger

Open Access

Covid-19 and Instagram: Digital Service Innovation in Top Restaurants

Governments across the world have imposed strict rules on social distancing to curb the spread of Covid-19. In particular, restaurants have been impacted by government-mandated lockdowns. This study adopts a mixed methods approach to explore how Finnish high-profile restaurants used Instagram as a means for service innovation and diffusion during nine weeks of government-mandated lockdown. Comparatively analysing 1,119 Instagram posts across two time-stamps (2019 and 2020) and across 45 restaurants, as well as conducting five semi-structured interviews with restaurant managers, it is found that while the overall number of Instagram posts and likes on posts stayed relatively similar to the year prior, the number of comments increased significantly, suggesting a move towards a more didactic and dyadic form of Instagram communication. In addition, four digital service innovation strategies are identified: launching new service offerings and introducing new elements to existing service offerings, fostering social relationship with customers, exploring novel streams of revenue, and reinvigorating the brand’s image. Implications to service innovation theory and practice are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.

Aarni Tuomi, Iis Tussyadiah, Mark Ashton

Open Access

The Sustainability of Using Domestic Tourism as a Post-COVID-19 Recovery Strategy in a Distressed Destination

Tourism is a critical contributor to the gross domestic product, especially among developing countries like Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a tourist destination that relies more on international travellers, a market which has been affected by the novel coronavirus. The purpose of this study is to establish the perceptions of domestic travellers and tourism managers on the sustainability of using domestic tourism as strategic responses to the impacts of the coronavirus. This study employs a qualitative methodology to examine the perceptions of the demand and supply side regarding the recovery options for Zimbabwean tourism post-pandemic. Online interviews with demand and supply participants were conducted. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, and the results were discussed. Results show that domestic tourism as a recovery option is unstainable due to the challenges that Zimbabwe is facing, beyond the coronavirus.

Erisher Woyo

Open Access

“Nothing Can Stop Me!” Perceived Risk and Travel Intention Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparative Study of Wuhan and Sapporo

The global tourism industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic due to strict travel restrictions imposed by most countries. In order to achieve a swift post-pandemic recovery, it is important to understand what psychological obstacles people would face when making travel decisions. Building upon the dual-route theory of information processing, this study examined and compared how the perceived risk of COVID-19 would affect people’s travel intentions in the Japanese city of Sapporo and the Chinese city of Wuhan through two rounds of data collection. While both cities were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic at an early stage, the cumulative numbers of confirmed human cases and the levels of intervention adopted were largely different. Results from the present study showed that risk perception of COVID-19 had a negative effect on people’s travel intentions in Sapporo. However, no significant effect of COVID-19 perception could be observed in post-lockdown Wuhan. Meanwhile, although the dual-route structure of information processing was obtained in Sapporo and post-lockdown Wuhan, neither routes seemed to predict the perceived risk of COVID-19 in Wuhan when lockdown restrictions were still in place. Several theoretical and practical implications concerning the results are discussed in this study.

Si Ru Li, Naoya Ito

Open Access

Factors Influencing Tourists’ Intention to Use COVID-19 Contact Tracing App

The purpose of this study was to develop and test a model that explores the antecedents of tourists’ acceptance of COVID-19 contact tracing app (CTA). Data was obtained from a crowdsourcing platform (Pollfish), in which 400 respondents answered the questionnaire. We used SmartPLS to analyse the data. Results reveal that trust and structural assurance have the strongest relationship. Furthermore, the relationship between trust and destination safety was positive. Finally, self-efficacy moderated the relationship between trust and intention, implying that trust was stronger for tourists who have higher levels of self-efficacy. Recommendations are offered.

Dandison Ukpabi, Sunday Olaleye, Heikki Karjaluoto

Open Access

Destination Management in Times of Crisis - Potentials of Open Innovation Approach in the Context of COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led the tourist industry to a standstill. It also creates the potential to change both the global tourism industry and the context in which innovation management takes place in the medium to long term. The web-based open innovation approach provides one of the possibilities to uncover technical opportunities in the context of rapidly changing environment. This article takes a qualitative approach to explore the benefits of open innovation approach for destination management organizations (DMOs). The analysis of 15 semi-structured interviews reveals nine specific benefits that arise from the three types of open innovation. The findings deepen an understanding of the potential that the open innovation approach offers for DMOs. The study further creates a background to collaborative tourist recovery COVID-19 pandemic through smart destination ecosystems.

Markus Pillmayer, Nicolai Scherle, Katerina Volchek

Open Access

“Old” and “New” Media Discourses on Chinese Outbound Tourism to Switzerland Before and During the Covid-19 Outbreak. An Exploratory Study

The paper presents an exploratory research focused on the themes concerning Chinese Outbound Tourism to Switzerland in the period from January 2019 to June 2020 including the Covid-19 outbreak. It analyses news media articles from Swiss-German print media covering tourism coming from China, including a visit by 12’000 Chinese travelers – an event extensively covered within Switzerland due to its exceptional number – up to recent times in which non-European tourists are almost absent from the country. The research aims at identifying the main themes being voiced in newspaper articles. It also tackles the themes mentioned in user-generated comments on Facebook on the same articles.

Lea Hasenzahl, Lorenzo Cantoni

Open Access

A Model to Predict Users’ Intentions to Adopt Contact-Tracing Apps for Prevention from COVID-19

Technological advances are increasingly progressing and have brought unprecedented solutions for real-world problems for various domains, particularly, when it comes to a health-related domain. This study aims to examine the predictors of users’ intentions to adopt contact-tracing apps for prevention from COVID-19. Based on the extended unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2), our research model incorporates the following eight constructs: performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, facilitating conditions, perceived privacy, perceived value, safety and accuracy. The empirical results were obtained from a sample of 93 questionnaires (currently still in course). We used the partial least squares approach to test our hypotheses. The results reveal that performance expectancy has the strongest impact on the intentions to use contact-tracing apps. The accuracy, effort expectancy and social influence are also important, followed by perceived value, safety and perceived privacy. Facilitating condition is listed as much less important. The theoretical and managerial implications of these results are discussed.

Imane Ezzaouia, Jacques Bulchand-Gidumal

Open Access

A Comparison of Hotel Guest Experience Before and During Pandemic: Evidence from Online Reviews

This paper compares the determinants of guest experience at luxury hotels in Mainland China before and during the pandemic—COVID-19. In particular, 740 Chinese reviews posted before the pandemic outbreak, and 1283 reviews posted during the pandemic were collected. Text analytics were applied to segment and count the frequency of words in these online reviews. The results show that the core dimensions of guest experiences at luxury hotels include services, room quality and settings, hotel facilities, dining, location, and environment. These core dimensions do not change regardless of the period before or during the pandemic. However, guests have higher expectations on hotel services such as late check-out and delivery service of takeaway during the pandemic. Online reviews amid-pandemic also contain words related to pandemic prevention and control measures, such as guest traffic and body temperature. Suggestions on operations and management are provided for hotel practitioners to improve their services during the critical period.

Irene Cheng Chu Chan, Jing Ma, Huiyue Ye, Rob Law

Open Access

How COVID-19 Impacts Chinese Travelers’ Mobility Decision-Making Processes: A Bayesian Network Model

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has a multi-faceted impact on the mobility of travelers. Current research has not yet explained the internal mechanisms of travelers’ mobility changes during the pandemic. The Bayesian network is considered to be an effective method to describe the causality between the factors and output of a system. Thus, this paper established a Bayesian network model to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on Chinese travelers’ mobility decision–making processes. The model for the traveler mobility decision-making process is built on both a qualitative and quantitative analysis of travelers’ self-narration articles. Results show that official information, traffic information, family structure, and social interaction networks are the key factors affecting Chinese travelers’ mobility.

Junyi Wang, Xueting Zhai, Qiuju Luo

Open Access

Examining Post COVID-19 Tourist Concerns Using Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a destructive effect on the tourism sector, especially on tourists’ fears and risk perceptions, and is likely to have a lasting impact on their intention to travel. Governments and businesses worldwide looking to revive and revamp their tourism sector, therefore, must first develop a critical understanding of tourist concerns starting from the dreaming/planning phase to booking, travel, stay, and experiencing. This formed the motivation of this study, which empirically examines the tourist sentiments and concerns across the tourism supply chain. Natural Language Processing (NLP) using sentiment analysis and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) approach was applied to analyze the semi-structured survey data collected from 72 respondents. Practitioners and policymakers could use the study findings to enable various support mechanisms for restoring tourist confidence and help them adjust to the’new normal.’

Sreejith Balasubramanian, Supriya Kaitheri, Krishnadas Nanath, Sony Sreejith, Cody Morris Paris

Open Access

Enhancing the Visitor Experience in the Time of COVID 19: The Use of AI Robotics in Pembrokeshire Coastal Pathway

AI and Robots represent a major innovation opportunity for the tourism sector, and their potential impact and application offer several new opportunities to enhance and develop the visitor experience. Nevertheless, there has been limited academic research on the use of robots, together with a limited number of destinations embracing this technology. Focusing on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, this research paper outlines how a multi methodological approach could be utilised to examine the use of AI and robotics in helping to enhance the visitor experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers anticipate that outcomes from such a study could not only provide theoretical contributions in the area of addressing concerns about accessibility in tourism and leisure settings, but also serve to inform both academia and the wider tourism industry to the benefits such technology can have towards enhancing the visitor experience within social distancing parameters.

Katarzyna Minor, Emmet McLoughlin, Vicky Richards


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