Title of Paper

Visualizing Disaster Communication on Twitter During Hurricane Irma

Presenter Bios (50 Words)

Danielle Barbe is doctoral student in the department of Tourism, Recreation and Sports Management at the University of Florida. Danielle’s primary research interests include tourism communications, crisis communication, and risk and crisis management.

Abstract (150 Words)

Disasters have major impacts on the tourism industry. When a disaster occurs, social media enables disaster-related information to be disseminated in real-time and have a broader reach. It is important for tourism organizations to monitor disaster-related social media content because a disaster can turn into an organizational crisis. The purpose of this study was to examine communication networks on Twitter during a disaster in a major tourism destination. Using social network analysis, this study identified influential information sources on the days leading up to and during Hurricane Irma’s impact in Miami, Florida. Analysis of 26,438 tweets identified 5 major clusters of communities where thousands of messages were directed to relatively few accounts. These accounts were influential in ensuring disaster-related information reached the largest possible audience. Most of the influential information sources on Twitter were official agencies and news media.

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Visualizing Disaster Communication on Twitter During Hurricane Irma

Disasters have major impacts on the tourism industry. When a disaster occurs, social media enables disaster-related information to be disseminated in real-time and have a broader reach. It is important for tourism organizations to monitor disaster-related social media content because a disaster can turn into an organizational crisis. The purpose of this study was to examine communication networks on Twitter during a disaster in a major tourism destination. Using social network analysis, this study identified influential information sources on the days leading up to and during Hurricane Irma’s impact in Miami, Florida. Analysis of 26,438 tweets identified 5 major clusters of communities where thousands of messages were directed to relatively few accounts. These accounts were influential in ensuring disaster-related information reached the largest possible audience. Most of the influential information sources on Twitter were official agencies and news media.