Author Bios (50 Words)

Yun Liang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at the Pennsylvania State University. Her academic interest is to combine social media data analysis with conservation in national parks or protected areas.

Junjun Yin, Ph.D., is an assistant research professor at the Social Science Research Institute and Population Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University. His research interests center on computational GIScience with a focus on developing geospatial Big Data analytics for studying urban and population dynamics concerning urban mobility, accessibility, and sustainability.

Bing Pan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. His research interests include data analytics, tourism big data, destination marketing, and benefits of travel.

Guangqing Chi, Ph.D., is an associate professor of rural sociology and demography and director of the Computational and Spatial Analysis Core of the Pennsylvania State University. His research is focused on socio-environmental systems by developing spatial and Big Data analytic methods. He leads generalizing Twitter data for social science research.

Clio Andris, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. Her research is on mathematical models of social networks and interpersonal relationships in geographic space, applied to issues of urban planning, visualization, transportation and geography.

Zach Miller, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Wildlife and Society at Utah State University. His research focuses on park and protected area management, where he uses social science concepts to inform the management of visitor use, enhance strategic communications, and improve human-wildlife relationships.

Jake Jorgenson, Ph.D., has over a decade of experience in visitor research specifically revolving around parks and public land, outdoor recreation, community perceptions and tourism. Since joining RRC, he has served as the lead analyst on park and recreation needs assessments/master plan surveys, community expectations projects, and tourism and recreation analyses.

Norma P. Nickerson, Ph.D., is a Research Professor and Director of the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR), in the W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at The University of Montana. Dr. Nickerson and ITRR are responsible for Montana’s travel and recreation research.

Abstract (150 Words)

This study compared tourists’ demographic variables between survey data and Twitter data in Yellowstone National Park and explored tourists’ experience through Twitter data. First, there were significant differences in age groups of tourists between social media data and survey data. Compared to survey data, tourists who identified by Twitter data concentrated on middle age groups. Secondly, the spatial distribution of geotagged tweets reflected the road network and main attractions in Yellowstone National Park. The peak visitation season is from June to September in survey data, while, in social media data, the peak visitation season is slightly shorter. Finally, the sentiment analysis was conducted and only 6.7% of tweets were negative, indicating that most tourists in Yellowstone National Park had good experience. Therefore, analyzing Twitter data will be helpful for understanding tourists’ demographics, attitudes and experience in the national parks and improving customer service in the further.

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Understanding Demographics and Experience of Tourists in Yellowstone National Park through Social Media

This study compared tourists’ demographic variables between survey data and Twitter data in Yellowstone National Park and explored tourists’ experience through Twitter data. First, there were significant differences in age groups of tourists between social media data and survey data. Compared to survey data, tourists who identified by Twitter data concentrated on middle age groups. Secondly, the spatial distribution of geotagged tweets reflected the road network and main attractions in Yellowstone National Park. The peak visitation season is from June to September in survey data, while, in social media data, the peak visitation season is slightly shorter. Finally, the sentiment analysis was conducted and only 6.7% of tweets were negative, indicating that most tourists in Yellowstone National Park had good experience. Therefore, analyzing Twitter data will be helpful for understanding tourists’ demographics, attitudes and experience in the national parks and improving customer service in the further.