Author Bios (50 Words)

So Young Park, M.S., is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management with a doctorate minor in Social Data Analytics at Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include data-driven analysis in tourism and social issues in tourism involving children and minorities.

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.

Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at The Pennsylvania State University. She is also the Managing Director of the University of Florida’s Tourism Crisis Management Initiative. Her research agenda focuses on tourism crisis management from the supply and demand perspectives.

Andrew J. Mowen, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the contributions of park and recreation services on individual and community well-being.

Sarah A. Font, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Sociology and Criminology and is a faculty member of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network. Her research focuses on how the child protective services and foster care systems work to further or undermine child well-being. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Abstract (150 Words)

This study examined Twitter conversations to understand the changes in the sentiments related to orphanage tourism between 2009 and 2019. Past research on orphanage tourism mostly took a qualitative approach, which provided profound knowledge but was limited to a single time and those directly involved. This study fills the gap by analyzing the tweets posted by different parties, including the individuals that have participated or are willing to participate in orphanage tourism, institutions that have campaigned against the phenomenon, and organizations that have promoted orphanage volunteering. Analysis of 109,723 tweets using lexicons and supervised learning—Support Vector Machine, Random Forest, Naive Bayes, and Logistic regression—revealed that the year 2014 marked a turning point for orphanage tourism conversations as the number of posts dropped significantly, and the messages against orphanage tourism received attention. However, the positive sentiment still prevailed throughout the decade when all tweets were considered.

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A Little Blue Bird Told Me: Sentiment Change on Orphanage Tourism

This study examined Twitter conversations to understand the changes in the sentiments related to orphanage tourism between 2009 and 2019. Past research on orphanage tourism mostly took a qualitative approach, which provided profound knowledge but was limited to a single time and those directly involved. This study fills the gap by analyzing the tweets posted by different parties, including the individuals that have participated or are willing to participate in orphanage tourism, institutions that have campaigned against the phenomenon, and organizations that have promoted orphanage volunteering. Analysis of 109,723 tweets using lexicons and supervised learning—Support Vector Machine, Random Forest, Naive Bayes, and Logistic regression—revealed that the year 2014 marked a turning point for orphanage tourism conversations as the number of posts dropped significantly, and the messages against orphanage tourism received attention. However, the positive sentiment still prevailed throughout the decade when all tweets were considered.