TOURISM IDENTITY IN SOCIAL MEDIA: THE CASE OF SUZHOU, A CHINESE HISTORIC CITY
Author:
Joon Sik Kim, Yi-Wen Wang
Title:
TOURISM IDENTITY IN SOCIAL MEDIA: THE CASE OF SUZHOU, A CHINESE HISTORIC CITY
doi:
10.24306/TrAESOP.2018.01.005
Journal:
TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN SCHOOLS OF PLANNING
Edition:
Volume 2, Issue 1 | June 2018 | 63 - 80

In the context of tourism planning and promotion, there is wide acknowledgement that conceptualisations
of tourism identity cannot be grounded merely in physical place, but should also encompass a wide range of
factors including, for instance, cultural relations, tourist activities, and social networking. There are opportunities
in late modern society for relating the identity of a city’s tourism with digitally-presented tourists’ perceptions
and activities through social media studies. This research explores multiple research approaches to delineate
the digital identity of Suzhou’s tourist destinations, as presented in online user-generated contents. It is hoped
that this social media study can provide supplementary information for tourism bureaus and agencies to
make informed judgements on effecting pertinent improvements to optimise existing tourism resources and
create more enticing environments for tourists. The research follows a case study approach and conducts
an empirical study on Suzhou, a Chinese historic city. The analysis of the results show that the social media
study is potentially useful in identifying the key characteristics of particular tourist destinations from visitors’
perspectives that may also be helpful for the evaluation of tourists’ experiences.