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Culture and Travel Experience in Natural Environments from Online User-Generated Content: The Grand Canyon National Park

Authors: Luyu Wang*, University of Florida, Angélica Almeyda Zambrano, University of Florida, Zhaohe Xu,, Inc
Topics: Tourism Geography
Keywords: Travel experience, user-generated content (UGC),culture, Grand Canyon National Park
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 12:30 PM / 1:45 PM
Room: Virtual Track 11
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

More and more tourists post and comment on social media platforms to share their travel experiences in natural environments. The textual reviews, as a type of user-generated content (UGC), could convey sentiments, opinions, activities, and behaviors of tourists. TripAdvisor is one of the world's largest travel sites. Tourist's cultural background and region of residence may shape the way they travel and how they represent their experiences in natural environments. This exploratory study examines whether travel experience stated by tourists and posted are reflective of the culture to which they belong. An appropriate location for this study is the Grand Canyon National Park, located in northwestern Arizona in the southwestern United States. The park is often considered one of the Wonders of the World. It includes Soth Rim and North Rim, added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979. Many domestic and international tourists visit this famous National Park for its dramatic landscapes. Data mining is adopted to collect reviews about attractions in the park from TripAdvisor. Also, sentiment analysis is employed to investigate visitors' emotions from their experiences. Topic modeling reveals the detailed travel experience for both American and foreign tourists. This study collects a large corpus of reviews in various languages to find differences in the way that American tourists and tourists from different places represent their travel experiences. These differences are discussed from the perspective of tourists' culture.

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