Ambassadors of knowledge sharing

Deborah Edwards (UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia)
Mingming Cheng (UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia)
IpKin Anthony Wong (Faculty of International Tourism and Management, City University of Macau, Macau, China)
Jian Zhang (School of Computing and Communications, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia)
Qiang Wu (School of Computing and Communications, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 13 February 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to understand the knowledge-sharing structure and co-production of trip-related knowledge through online travel forums.

Design/methodology/approach

The travel forum threads were collected from TripAdvisor’s Sydney travel forum for the period from 2010 to 2014, which contains 115,847 threads from 8,346 conversations. The data analytical technique was based on a novel methodological approach – visual analytics, including semantic pattern generation and network analysis.

Findings

Findings indicate that the knowledge structure is created by community residents who camouflage as local experts and serve as ambassadors of a destination. The knowledge structure presents collective intelligence co-produced by community residents and tourists. Further findings reveal how these community residents associate with each other and form a knowledge repertoire with information covering various travel domain areas.

Practical implications

The study offers valuable insights to help destination-management organizations and tour operators identify existing and emerging tourism issues to achieve a competitive destination advantage.

Originality/value

This study highlights the process of social media mediated travel knowledge co-production. It also discovers how community residents engage in reaching out to tourists by camouflaging as ordinary users.

Keywords

Citation

Edwards, D., Cheng, M., Wong, I., Zhang, J. and Wu, Q. (2017), "Ambassadors of knowledge sharing", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 690-708. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-10-2015-0607

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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