2017-2018 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
Chinese Consumers' Internet and Social Media Use

Jing Ge
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California, Berkeley

Friday, Jan. 26, 5:00pm
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

China's prosperous, dynamic and sophisticated social media landscape and the complex use of social media by Chinese tourists are largely hidden behind the Chinese government's Internet surveillance and censorship, also known as the Great Firewall. As a result, the world's largest market for outbound tourism might be poorly served by external markets that fail to connect with these trends. This paper sheds light on China's vibrant and innovative home-grown social media platforms, and describes how economic growth, social progress, cultural change, and recent technology shifts have affected China's consumer culture. It explains how this affects the Chinese outbound tourists who prefer free and independent travel (FIT), and articulates the role of social media in Chinese travel planning. The resulting holistic view provides clear insights into how to market tourism to Chinese consumers.

Speaker Bio:
Jing Ge is a postdoctoral research fellow at University of California, Berkeley, and a research fellow at the Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism, LA. Jing holds a PhD degree from the University of Queensland Business School. She has close to 10 years of industry experience with a focus on marketing communication and social media.

Dr. Ge's research interests are in the areas of computer-mediated communication, the playful and creative use of language by businesses and consumers on social media, and graphical communication such as emojis and stickers. Her research has been extensively applied on the tourism context such as Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) in China.

Her recent representative publications appear in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management ("A Taxonomy of Value Co-creation on Weibo - A Communication Perspective"), Journal of Information Technology and Tourism ("Humour in Soliciting Social Media Conversations"), and two book chapters in Advances in Social Media for Travel, Tourism and Hospitality: New Perspectives, Practice and Cases.

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