SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (12): 2131-2140.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2022.12.009

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Topic Identification and Asymmetry Effects of Tourists’ Perceived Image of Cultural Tourism Destinations: A Case of Canal City Shaoxing

Zhang Huanzhou1(), Ying Shun1, Wu Maoying2   

  1. 1. International Research Center of the Grand Canal, Zhejiang International Studies University, Hangzhou 310023, Zhejiang, China
    2. School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2022-05-23 Revised:2022-10-02 Online:2022-12-30 Published:2022-12-20
  • Supported by:
    Key Program of National Social Science Foundation of China(19AGL018);Major Project of Zhejiang Province Cultural Research Program(21WH70080ZD)

Abstract:

In recent years, cultural tourism destinations have flourished and become ideal places for tourists to seek cultural experience and meet their spiritual needs. Cultural tourism destinations are defined as a specific regional space with cultural tourism resources as its main attraction and tourism facilities as its support to provide tourists with cultural tourism experience and tourism services. They play an important role in improving tourists’ cultural identity, satisfying people’s needs for a better life, and improving the quality development of the cultural tourism industry. Unfortunately, these destinations face challenges of homogeneity, loss of authenticity and over-commercialization, which seriously affect their sustainability and competitiveness. As consumers of tourism products and services, tourists’ perceived image of cultural tourism destinations reflects the development of tourist destinations. Therefore, examining tourists’ perceived image is considered as an approach to improve cultural destinations’ sustainable development. Few studies, however, have examined the themes and characteristics of tourists’ perceived image of cultural destinations. To fill these gaps, this paper attempts to answer the following questions: 1) What are the topics of tourists’ perceived image in cultural tourism destinations? 2) Are there significant differences among different topics of tourists’ perceived image of cultural destinations? 3) How to reflect the asymmetric effect of topics of tourists’ perceived image of cultural destinations? Specifically, this paper uses the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model to explore the topics and characteristics of tourists’ perceived image of cultural destinations. Shaoxing, a canal city in eastern Zhejiang Province, is taken as the research site. Tourists’ online reviews in Ctrip.com are used as the data source. The results show that: 1) Tourists’ perceived image of Shaoxing include five topics: scenic area service, distinctive local culture, landscape scenery, legends and stories, and celebrities ’s former residence; 2) Scenic area service is the most significant topic, followed by distinctive local culture, landscape scenery, while the perception of legends and stories and celebrities ’s former residence is relatively weaker than other themes; 3) Through analyzing the topics of positive and negative tourists’ reviews, celebrities’s former residence, landscape scenery, and legends and stories can be categorized as motivating factors. Also, cultural landscape, authenticity and natural resources play the role of hygiene factors, while scenic area service influences both positive and negative perceptions of tourists as a two-way factor. There exists an asymmetric effect between the tourists’ positive perception and their negative evaluation of Shaoxing image. 4) Tourists generate different perceived image of cultural tourism destinations through consumption and experience of cultural resources, cultural production and cultural industry chain. To enhance tourists’ perceived image, cultural tourism destinations can improve the scenic area service, protect cultural landscapes, authenticity and natural resources. The active role of celebrity residences, landscape scenery and legends and stories can also be highlighted.

Key words: cultural tourism destinations, tourists’ perceived image, Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model, big data, data mining, canal city, Shaoxing

CLC Number: 

  • F591.99