Moderating Role of Geospatial Proximity on Public Crisis Involvement: A Case Study of “Woman Attacked in Yitel” on Sina Weibo

Authors: Lijuan Su*, University of Florida, Svetlana Stepchenkova, Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management, University of Florida
Topics: Tourism Geography, Recreational and Sport Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Crisis, Geographically Weighted Regression model (GWR), Proximity, Sina Weibo, Yitel
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The hospitality and tourism industries are highly susceptible to reputational crises in an age of social media. Traditionally, crisis management research was mainly conducted from organizational perspective to predict affected financial performances and develop effective crisis recovery strategies, which naturally neglected the role of consumer involvement. However, social media amplified voices of consumers and general public in crisis management process. Researches showed that geographic proximity contributed to a high volume of public’s searching-information and sharing-information behaviors. This study aims to examine the spatial variations between public’s involvement and socio-economic variables on the city scale.

The study sampled 10,245 messages (circa 1 percent of total discussions) with the hashtag “woman attacked in Yitel hotel” from Sina Weibo. The findings indicated geographic proximity affected spatial distribution patterns of involvement. The study plans to examine involvement patterns by establishing a geographically weighted regression model, which is based on the 2016 China city statistics. Four scenarios in the local GWR model were generated by regressing GDP, percentage of educational level, percentage of gender, and competitions in budget hotel brands on percentage of public’s involvement in Yitel crisis using AICc to improve the global OLS model given spatial heterogeneity. The GWR model will contribute to understanding spatial variations of the causal relationship between public’s involvement and socio-economic factors, which serves as a tool for creating effective crisis management and recovery strategies.

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