Title of Paper

A Social Network Analysis of Chinese Tourists’ Image of South Korea in Conflict

Author Bios (50 Words)

Dr. Svetlana Stepchenkova is Associate Professor at the Dept. of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida. Her research interests are destination marketing, branding, and positive image building. She studies tourism behavior and the effectiveness of destination promotion in situations of strained bilateral relations between nations.

Abstract (150 Words)

This study investigates how bilateral political tensions between China and South Korea influence the image of a destination country, South Korea, and desire of tourists to visit it. In the past decades, Chinese tourists held relatively positive images towards South Korea in aspects of Korean wave, safety, cleanliness, and friendly people, but the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea greatly changed perceived images towards South Korea. Given the need to quantify qualitative data of destination image and identify hidden interrelationships of sparse destination images. This study investigates the diversity of image associations that Chinese tourists hold towards South Korea in the context of current conflict and utilizes network analysis to identify the core-periphery structures of the image. Further, the study explores the impact of the network clusters on Chinese tourists’ overall attitude toward South Korea and intention to visit South Korea.

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A Social Network Analysis of Chinese Tourists’ Image of South Korea in Conflict

This study investigates how bilateral political tensions between China and South Korea influence the image of a destination country, South Korea, and desire of tourists to visit it. In the past decades, Chinese tourists held relatively positive images towards South Korea in aspects of Korean wave, safety, cleanliness, and friendly people, but the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea greatly changed perceived images towards South Korea. Given the need to quantify qualitative data of destination image and identify hidden interrelationships of sparse destination images. This study investigates the diversity of image associations that Chinese tourists hold towards South Korea in the context of current conflict and utilizes network analysis to identify the core-periphery structures of the image. Further, the study explores the impact of the network clusters on Chinese tourists’ overall attitude toward South Korea and intention to visit South Korea.